VIDEO REPORT: Governor Walker Says Wisconsin Won't Set Up Health Exchange

UPDATED Friday, November 16, 2012--5:50p.m.
MADISON--The Affordable Care Act--often called Obamacare--requires states to set-up health insurance exchanges by 2014.
And the act gives them three options on how to get there: the first is for the state to create an exchange, the second is to partner with the federal government to create one, and the third is to let the federal government do it.

"Wisconsin will not build a state-based health insurance exchange and will defer to the federal government's insurance exchange," announced Gov. Scott Walker on Friday.

In choosing to let the federal government handle the exchange, Gov. Walker says he's protecting the state's taxpayers: "no matter which option is chosen, Wisconsin taxpayers will not have meaningful control over the healthcare policies and services sold to Wisconsin residents," he said. "If the state option is chosen however, Wisconsinites face risk from the federal mandate lacking long term guaranteed funding."

The governor says all three exchange options are different in terms of who builds and operates them--but says all are controlled by federal policy.

Some of Wisconsin's leading Democrats aren't happy with the Governor's decision. Long-time State Senator Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, calls it a big mistake."It was a chance for Wisconsin to shape, create and create its own health care exchange based on what businesses and the people of the state of Wisconsin need as far as their health insurance is concerned," said Sen. Erpenbach. "So to me it's a real lost opportunity."

The Senator says the governor was wrong in his rationale for forgoing the state-run option--and calls it a missed golden opportunity. "We would have had the leeway to set up the exchange the way we chose to do," he said. "Yep there's guidelines from the federal government but in the end if it was a Wisconsin exchange we would have been running it."

UPDATED Friday, November 16, 2012 --- 9:20 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker says Wisconsin will not set up a health insurance exchange under President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.

Instead, Walker told the Obama administration Friday that Wisconsin will leave that responsibility to the federal government.

Walker's highly anticipated decision was not unexpected given his long opposition to the law. He stopped implementation last year on the hopes the law would be overturned either by the U.S. Supreme Court or Republicans following the November election.

Neither happened.

Walker announced his intention Friday despite the federal government late Thursday giving states an additional month to decide.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


Posted Friday, November 16, 2012 --- 7:15 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker plans to announce whether he will implement a state-run health insurance exchange or turn that responsibility over to President Barack Obama's administration.

States faced a Friday deadline to notify the federal government of their plans, but late Thursday the Obama administration responded to a request for more time from Republican governors by granting states a month's extension, until Dec. 14.

Numerous groups have urged Walker to have the state run the exchange, but conservatives are calling on Walker to leave it to the Obama administration.

In an interview with The New York Times, Walker questioned whether the federal government would actually allow states to shape the exchanges. The governor says he wouldn't want to "take on the potential risk to taxpayers" if the state didn't have true control.

Walker plans to announce his decision Friday morning.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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