Walker supports bill repealing ACA but hopes for "improvements"

GILMAN, Wis. (WEAU) -- Gov. Scott Walker says he's backing the Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act but is hoping for improvements before the bill passes.

During a visit to Gilman High School on Thursday Walker said, for the most part, he is in favor of the proposed bill that gets rid of the requirement that people become insured or else pay a fine.

Walker said, “This is something that's much better than what we have. Right now Obamacare is collapsing. We see it all across the country, providers are backing out, and people are losing coverage. It is a failing system so something has to be done.”

The proposed bill will continue to provide coverage for those with pre-existing conditions or for children staying on their parent's insurance until age 26.

While the governor says the proposal is a move in the right direction he does say he’s looking to see some improvement.

“Greater flexibility,” added Walker. “I think in particular one of the areas we're hoping they'll add to that is that further assurance that states can care for people whether it be our elderly citizens or people with severe disabilities who need advanced assistance we want to make sure there is adequate funding and support for that.”

A point of focus for Walker includes a change that keeps Medicaid expansion in place for low-income Americans but only for the next three years.

“I think the biggest concern for us is making sure the base for all states, whether they took the expansion or not, covers those who have those chronic situations which require a much higher level of care,” added Walker.

Right now with Republicans in control of Congress and the White House it is their best shot yet to make good on their promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act but with Democrats looking to protect Obama's signature policy, they won't let it go so easily.

“I'm extremely worried. I think that repealing the Affordable Care Act puts millions of people at risk of not being able to have basic health insurance,” said chair of the Eau Claire Democratic Party, Beverly Wickstrom.

Democrats argue more people will lose coverage under the new plan by making health insurance unaffordable for many

Wicstrom expanded, “If the penalty for having health insurance is taken away that means a lot of healthy people probably will not purchase insurance given the price of it and that will make the cost of insurance much higher for those who do purchase it because the insurance pools aren't balanced out properly.”

Right now Republican leaders say they'll pay for their plan, at least partly, with savings from repealing Obamacare.

The final price is not known without an official cost estimate.

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