Gov. Walker says no to state-based health care exchange - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Gov. Walker says no to state-based health care exchange

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

Governor Scott Walker has announced the federal government will run Wisconsin's health care exchange, under the new health care law.

Walker held a conference call earlier today. That's where he announced his choice and the reasoning behind it.

But there's certainly opposition to his decision.

Under President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, each state must set up a health care exchange, which is a marketplace where people can shop for insurance.

There are three choices for who controls the exchange. The first would give a state its own control, and the second would have the federal government do it for them.

The third would be a partnership between the two. Governor Walker decided to turn it over to the federal government.

"Eventually, as the federal funding dries up, cost for Wisconsin taxpayers could skyrocket under a state-run exchange. That was the kind of exposure I didn't want to put on taxpayers," Governor Scott Walker said.

This decision came with a lot of input from democratic lawmakers, who pushed for a state-run exchange, including Congressman Ron Kind.

"I'm afraid this is driven more by politics than policy. Now that the election is over, we have to move beyond all this, start coming together and find some practical solutions that are going to work," Kind said.

The governor has long opposed the president's health care law. But walker says he considered all the input he received, while democratic lawmakers say they're not giving up.

"I am going to do everything I can to work with the Department of Health and Human Services to institute an exchange in Wisconsin as efficient and cost effective as we can," Kind said.

"Unfortunately, a state exchange would not provide the flexibility to meet our state's unique needs or protect our state's taxpayers," Walker said.

The health care exchange program goes into effect January 1st 2014.

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