Healthcare Law Deadline Looms for Wisconsin
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
GREEN BAY, W--Eight days. That's how long Wisconsin has to decide how it will comply with the federal health care law. President Obama's re-election is forcing Governor Walker to act quickly.
He'd been holding off on implementing the law hoping republicans would take the White House.
Governor Walker says he met with lawmakers this week to discuss what's best for Wisconsin. He needs to decide in the next eight days or the federal government will decide for him. The affordable healthcare act is coming to Wisconsin and for doctor and former congressman Steve Kagen, that's a good thing.
"Finally consumers and my patients will be able to compare apples to apples. Comparing one insurance company's offer to another" said Dr. Kagen.
How that will happen isn't clear. Wisconsin needs to decide how to create a new insurance marketplace or exchange.
"It's not a question of if there is an exchange. It's a question of what is the best way to implement one in the state." said Governor Scott Walker.
States have three choices.
1. They can run their own insurance marketplace using some federal funding.
2.They can leave the task to the federal government.
3.Or, they can do something in between: a "partnership" model allows state and federal governments to divvy up the responsibilities.
"The law is pretty well prescribed as to how states have to run it" said Governor Walker.
Governor Walker says he doesn't like the idea of giving control to federal government. But he says that option might make the most sense.
"The risk you run is if a state runs it, is eventually money goes away from the federal government and it might expose state taxpayers to picking up more and more of that cost. Whereas if it is a federally run exchange, they take on all the cost" said Governor Walker.
Whatever the decision, the new insurance exchange will go into effect in 2014.
On Jan. 1 of 2013, Wisconsin will have to have a plan to show their marketplace is on track to begin enrolling people in one year.