Wisconsin Governor Issues ‘Stop Work’ Order On State Health Exchange
Wis. Gov. Scott Walker officially announced on Wednesday that he will not implement a state-based health exchange or accept federal funding for it. Meanwhile, in Minnesota, a government task force has begun debating a list of basic principles for that state's health care exchange. And Stateline offers an overview of what states in general are doing in regard to these insurance marketplaces.
Stateline: Building A Health Insurance Marketplace One Step At A Time
Less than a year from now, states will have to prove to Washington that they are capable of running a health insurance exchange on their own, or the federal government will create one for them. The way it looks now, only a handful of states are likely to make that deadline. ... Most state officials are in favor of running their own exchanges. So far, however, only 12 have enacted statutes or executive orders establishing their intent to undertake the project (Vestal, 1/19).
The Associated Press/CBS News: Walker Turning Down $37 Million For Health Care
Wisconsin will turn down $37 million from the federal government that had been awarded to help implement health care exchanges under President Barack Obama's health care reform law, Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday. Walker announced in December that Wisconsin would not pursue implementing the exchange until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the law. But he did not say whether the state would take the money. On Wednesday Walker said he was notifying the federal government that Wisconsin was turning down the Early Innovator Grant (1/18).
Politico Pro: Wisconsin Ends Exchange Implementation
"I have directed the Department of Health Services to notify the federal government that we will discontinue any development on a health exchange and that Wisconsin will turn down funding from the Early Innovator grant program," he said in a statement. "Stopping the encroachment of Obamacare in our state, which has the potential to have a devastating impact on Wisconsin's economy, is a top priority" (Kenen, 1/18).
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Walker To Return $38 million Earmarked For Health Exchanges
The governor has consistently opposed the federal law, but for a time last year Walker had said that he wanted the state to develop its own plan for the marketplace so Wisconsin would have more control over how the law is implemented. ... Wisconsin must prove to the federal government by Jan. 1, 2013, that the state is prepared to implement its own exchange plan. Otherwise, the federal government will impose its own plan when the exchanges start in 2014. Robert Kraig, executive director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin, said that the decision was a mistake because the exchanges could have provided consumers with more options for their health care (Stein, 1/18).
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Views Are Exchanged On Health Exchange
A 13-member government task force on Wednesday debated a list of basic principles for a Minnesota health care exchange, highlighting strongly divergent views about the role health insurance plans and brokers should play. ... Industry representatives argued that their expertise in health care will bring efficiencies to the process, while community-based panel members worried about conflicts of interest and leaving out consumers and marginalized communities (Crosby, 1/18).