MADISON — A fight is brewing in Wisconsin just one day after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. Every state is required to create an insurance exchange, a place where you must go to buy your health insurance. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says he’s in no rush to create an insurance exchange for the State of Wisconsin.
Gov. Walker has refused federal money meant to help build a health insurance exchange. He says, “For us to put time and effort and resources into that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”
The health insurance exchange is one of the most pivotal parts of the Affordable Care Act. It’s where people without insurance go to buy their mandated plans. The government regulated market place is a one stop shop allowing you to compare benefits and prices.
For those that can’t afford insurance, it is the place you are allowed to use your subsidy like a discount.
34 states and the District of Columbia have accepted $850 million in federal funds to build their exchanges, but Wisconsin hasn’t accepted a dime. The Governor plans to wait through November to see how the Presidential election turns out.
The state says there is no mandate forcing them to make their own exchange. They say the federal government will likely offer their own system.
Wisconsin state representative Jon Ricahrds says this is a missed opportunity. “What we have is a chance to create a health care market place designed by Wisconsin people for the Wisconsin market place.”
Rick Abrams of the Wisconsin Medical Society has confidence the two sides will eventually work together, but admits time is ticking. He says, “With everyday that goes by it is going to make it more and more difficult to meet the January 2014 kick off date for state exchanges.”