Walker will sign bill designed to lower insurance premiums

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker plans to sign into law a measure that's designed to lower health insurance premiums for people buying plans through the Affordable Care Act.

Walker announced Monday that he would sign the bill that had bipartisan support last Tuesday.

Walker's $200 million plan counts on the federal government covering most of the cost. Where the state could come up with its $50 million to $80 million share would be determined later.

The idea has found broad support among health insurance providers, doctors and the medical community.

Under the bill, the state would be authorized to seek a federal waiver to offer a reinsurance program to lower premium costs. Such a program would cover at least 50 percent of medical claims costing between $50,000 and $200,000.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin's attorney general has joined a lawsuit with 19 other states' attorneys generals to have the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate declared unconstitutional. The mandate is intended to keep health insurance premiums down by having healthier customers in the insurance pool.

The complaint filed Monday says the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ACA's individual mandate provision as a tax, but Congress repealed the penalty in a tax bill passed last December, leaving the mandate effectively toothless starting in 2019.

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