Update: Walker's stand wavers on waiver to raise pre-existing premiums

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - UPDATE: After a public outcry, Governor Scott Walker said on Twitter, "It is a given that WI will ensure coverage for people with pre-existing conditions."

The governor later clarified to the Journal Sentinel he is "not looking to change" policies for patients with pre-existing conditions.

The reason for the clarification may be that under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies can no longer deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, and the American Health Care Act would not remove that protection. However, under the GOP bill, states could request waivers to let insurance companies charge those patients higher premiums.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE:

Gov. Scott Walker says he would consider seeking a waiver under House Republicans' health care changes to let insurers raise premiums for people with pre-existing conditions.

House GOP members passed legislation on Thursday rolling back former President Barack Obama's health care law. Part of the bill would allow states to seek waivers exempting insurers from Obama's prohibition on higher premiums for people with pre-existing problems. States could then use federal dollars to fund government-operated insurance programs for pools of expensive patients.

Walker said Friday during a visit to Madison company Discover Mediaworks that he would consider a waiver, saying Wisconsin has run high-risk pools well in the past.

He predicted, however, that the Senate would change the legislation and he wants to see what's in the final package.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)