The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Deadline for health care reform approaching

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is currently in the process of deciding whether the state will establish its own health insurance exchange or forego the option and allow the federal government to take over under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Walker has until Friday, the national dealine for states to choose between these options, to make a decision on the future of Wisconsin health care.

If Walker chooses to introduce a state-run health insurance exchange, it would begin operating by 2014.

In a story by the Associated Press, Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie said Walker met privately with state insurance Commissioner Ted Nickel, Department of Health Service Secretary Dennis Smith and a few other advisors seeking advice on the proper path to take.

Democrats and Republicans are divided on the issue, but some state leaders from both sides of the aisle who are in favor of the exchange are urging state legislators to control the process instead of allowing the federal government to do so.

Most officials have not predicted how Walker is going to rule on the issue, but some reports have indicated that he will favor the statewide exchange.

If Walker goes forward with the exchange, he will likely face roadblocks from Republicans in the legislature.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Tuesday that at least nine Republicans told the Campaign for Liberty, a libertarian group, that they would block federal officials if they try to implement the Affordable Care Act in Wisconsin.

The Associated Press article reported that various health care establishments and businesses have asked Walker to pursue the exchange. Some of these organizations are the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce association, the Wisconsin Hospital Association and the state chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

States have until Dec. 14 to decide the specific details of their exchanges if they decide on pursuing that option.

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