Gov. Scott Walker and state Republican legislators have recently indicated they would support a federal-run health insurance exchange over a state-run exchange. Walker must make a decision on how the Affordable Healthcare Act will be implemented within the state by Friday’s federally mandated deadline.
Walker, who initially neglected implementing the law, was forced to start planning for a statewide health-care exchange system after President Barack Obama won the presidency and Democrats maintained control of the U.S. Senate.
The governor can either establish a state-run exchange or leave implementation to the federal government. The exchange, no matter who implements it, will set up an online marketplace where citizens can purchase government approved health-care plans.
Democrats have pushed Walker to choose a state-run approach, but Republican legislators disagree. State Sen. Frank Lasee, R-De Pere, wrote a letter to Walker Wednesday urging him to leave implementation of the act to the federal government.
Lasee said Walker should not implement a state exchange and instead, let the federal government implement the exchange, allowing Wisconsin to avoid state tax increases on citizens and preventing additional federal subsidies to the state at a time when the federal government is already heavily in debt.
“It is in our citizens’ best interest to … find out what the federal exchange looks like before we act,” Lasee said.
Walker, in an interview with The New York Times Wednesday, hinted he would likely leave implementation to the federal government because he has doubts about the freedom the federal government would grant states if they ran their own systems.
“I’d much prefer control at the state level, but the problem is, I don’t think [state exchanges] are really state run,” Walker said.