Wisconsin Governor Rejects Health Care Exchange

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Scott Walker
Photo: Gov Scott Walker Facebook Page

On Friday, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker joined fourteen other Republican governors from across the country refusing to set up a state-run health care exchange. The federal government will instead be in charge of setting up an online insurance marketplace as part of the Obama Administration’s Affordable Care Act.

This aspect of the ACA, known popularly as “Obamacare,” provides a platform for consumers to compare insurance plans, navigate the insurance market, and determine if they will be eligible for any government assistance in purchasing an insurance plan. Any state unwilling or unable to be able to set up their own exchange automates a federal government move to step in to provide the service.

Originally, governors were given until Friday, November 16, 2012 to decide and unveil their plans for the exchange. Many Republican governors waited for the results of the election before making a decision, hoping that Mitt Romney would repeal the ACA if elected. With Obama’s reelection, however, many Republican governors felt they did not have adequate time to evaluate their options and the Republican Governors Association wrote the administration asking for an extension.

On Thursday, the day before the deadline, Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, announced that the administration was extending the deadline until December 14th.

Walker, however, did not take advantage of the extension. In a letter to Sebelius on Friday, Walker argued that he deferred to the federal government since Wisconsin taxpayers could face undisclosed costs by running the exchange at the state level. In addition, he claimed that the federal mandate still offered too many regulations so that, at a basic level, it would be a state-run program in name only.

Walker, a long-time tea party favorite, pleased his right wing base of support, as well as Republican state lawmakers, who urged Walker to stand firm against setting up a state run exchange. However, Democrats universally expressed their disappointment with the decision, including newly-elected Wisconsin Senator, Tammy Baldwin.

Interestingly, even some of Walker’s traditional conservative allies had been advocating for the state-run exchange. Most prominently state-run exchange was advocated for by the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the state chapter for the National Federation of Independent Businesses, and the Wisconsin Hospital Association.

Among conservatives, Walker has become increasingly popular. This weekend he spoke at the Reagan Library in California, where he spoke about his upcoming agenda including major tax cuts and education reform, measures that are likely to pass in the state’s upcoming budget negotiations since Republicans enjoy majorities in both legislative houses in Wisconsin.

Walker faces a reelection bid in 2014, a contest which he is largely expected to win based on the strength of surviving his recall campaign and the inability of the state’s Democratic party to float the names of any other viable candidates to date. Additionally, some believe that Walker might have his eye on the 2016 presidential election. For Walker, standing firm against the Republican-opposed ACA is critical to this ambition and indicates, despite talks of political reconciliation after the election, particular interests will trump bipartisanship with no issue perhaps more poignant than health care.

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  1. Marc Schenker When are people going to get it through their heads? Anything the federal government touches or has control over will never truly be "state-run." In fact, it's laughable to even consider that. For true federalism to occur, you can't have government swollen to the size that it's been under Obama.
  2. Billy Dillard not as long as they have the best coverage. we need a vote for them to start paying . theirs is great as long as we pay for it.
  3. Luke Enoch Valerie, you are completely wrong, and you have obviously not read the bill- The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Section 1312, "Consumer Choice," page 64, signed into law on Mar. 23, 2010, available at www.thomas.gov, states: "(D) MEMBERS OF CONGRESS IN THE EXCHANGE.- (i) REQUIREMENT.-Notwithstanding any other provision of law, after the effective date of this subtitle, the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are- (I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or (II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act). (ii) DEFINITIONS.-In this section: (I) MEMBER OF CONGRESS.-The term 'Member of Congress' means any member of the House of Representatives or the Senate. (II) CONGRESSIONAL STAFF.-The term ‘congressional staff' means all full-time and part-time employees employed by the official office of a Member of Congress, whether in Washington, DC or outside of Washington, DC.”
  4. Louis Douglas Williams Medicare Fraud will Franchise like Prohibition converting to State Stores; Big Government already made money off the Health Care Experiments hand-over-fist; Handing this Ponzi Scheme over to the States just allows Governors to make Revenue like a Lottery from legalized Gambling, and Stem Cell Reseach will have restrictions lifted like a Bush Tax Cut.
  5. Valerie Cook If that were true...they would have been better at actually winning. You need to read the health bill. It may be available as coverage, but you won't be able to actually use it. It is NOT a well done bill and it will not give you what you may not have now.
  6. Valerie Cook I say, good for you for not falling over to obey the federal government. This health care is still a bad deal. You may have coverage, but you won't get to use it. Plus, if it is really that good...President Obama would be using it (which he and all the other senators and congressman aren't). I want his insurance. The states are right...any changes should take place on a state basis. They know what is best for their state not some dumb DC bureaucrat that has NO healthcare experience at all.
  7. Scott W. Trent Jr. AND allen west in Fl, I guess some folks are getting tired of the "tea drinking"......
  8. Scott W. Trent Jr. Were YOU in the halls of congress? In the committee rooms? Did YOU see and hear with your own eyes and ears that the repugs were shut out? IF not, and if your "facts" came from the national media outlets, then you KNOW nothing of what really went on! You should have ran for congress this year and THEN you could have had the facts!
  9. Scott W. Trent Jr. @Lynn, I'm pretty sure (100%) that when you get in an accident or the health care system does you dirty, YOU will NOT want to be a part of your proposed Tort Reform! YOU will want ALL the cash you can get!!!!!!!
  10. Scott W. Trent Jr. @Jackson, that is true, but THEY don't want to do that, as they still only want to ruin one man at the expense of the majority of the country! IF THEY really do not like the ACA then the exchanges GIVE THEM the perfect way to show HOW IT CAN BE DONE! But will the repugs do that? No, they only want another disaster four yrs.!!!!!
54 comments
Marc Schenker
Marc Schenker

When are people going to get it through their heads? Anything the federal government touches or has control over will never truly be "state-run." In fact, it's laughable to even consider that. For true federalism to occur, you can't have government swollen to the size that it's been under Obama.

Billy Dillard
Billy Dillard

not as long as they have the best coverage. we need a vote for them to start paying . theirs is great as long as we pay for it.

Luke Enoch
Luke Enoch

Valerie, you are completely wrong, and you have obviously not read the bill-

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Section 1312, "Consumer Choice," page 64, signed into law on Mar. 23, 2010, available at www.thomas.gov, states:

"(D) MEMBERS OF CONGRESS IN THE EXCHANGE.-

(i) REQUIREMENT.-Notwithstanding any other provision of law, after the effective date of this subtitle, the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are-

(I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or

(II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act).

(ii) DEFINITIONS.-In this section:

(I) MEMBER OF CONGRESS.-The term 'Member of Congress' means any member of the House of Representatives or the Senate.

(II) CONGRESSIONAL STAFF.-The term ‘congressional staff' means all full-time and part-time employees employed by the official office of a Member of Congress, whether in Washington, DC or outside of Washington, DC.”

Louis Douglas Williams
Louis Douglas Williams

Medicare Fraud will Franchise like Prohibition converting to State Stores; Big Government already made money off the Health Care Experiments hand-over-fist; Handing this Ponzi Scheme over to the States just allows Governors to make Revenue like a Lottery from legalized Gambling, and Stem Cell Reseach will have restrictions lifted like a Bush Tax Cut.

Valerie Cook
Valerie Cook

If that were true...they would have been better at actually winning. You need to read the health bill. It may be available as coverage, but you won't be able to actually use it. It is NOT a well done bill and it will not give you what you may not have now.

Valerie Cook
Valerie Cook

I say, good for you for not falling over to obey the federal government. This health care is still a bad deal. You may have coverage, but you won't get to use it. Plus, if it is really that good...President Obama would be using it (which he and all the other senators and congressman aren't). I want his insurance. The states are right...any changes should take place on a state basis. They know what is best for their state not some dumb DC bureaucrat that has NO healthcare experience at all.

Scott W. Trent Jr.
Scott W. Trent Jr.

AND allen west in Fl, I guess some folks are getting tired of the "tea drinking"......

Scott W. Trent Jr.
Scott W. Trent Jr.

Were YOU in the halls of congress? In the committee rooms? Did YOU see and hear with your own eyes and ears that the repugs were shut out? IF not, and if your "facts" came from the national media outlets, then you KNOW nothing of what really went on! You should have ran for congress this year and THEN you could have had the facts!

Scott W. Trent Jr.
Scott W. Trent Jr.

@Lynn, I'm pretty sure (100%) that when you get in an accident or the health care system does you dirty, YOU will NOT want to be a part of your proposed Tort Reform! YOU will want ALL the cash you can get!!!!!!!

Scott W. Trent Jr.
Scott W. Trent Jr.

@Jackson, that is true, but THEY don't want to do that, as they still only want to ruin one man at the expense of the majority of the country! IF THEY really do not like the ACA then the exchanges GIVE THEM the perfect way to show HOW IT CAN BE DONE! But will the repugs do that? No, they only want another disaster four yrs.!!!!!

Christopher Hood
Christopher Hood

Exactly- when it voted on it congress it was amended by vote in the House; the fact many don't remember that is quite shocking

Ernie Pastor
Ernie Pastor

When was the last time you ever saw government undo something? That is the problem with giving it a try. Once it is in place, undoing it, even if it is a disaster (which it will be) will be nearly impossible. It needs to be stopped now or we will be stuck with it forever. . .

Ernie Pastor
Ernie Pastor

And indiciditive of the general ignorance of the American electorate today.

Ernie Pastor
Ernie Pastor

Good for you Peggy. Don't let these bullys force you to their side, they is how we wound up where we are as a country today!

Louie Goitz
Louie Goitz

Peggy..you enjoying social security and Medicare?

Louie Goitz
Louie Goitz

Scott walker better remember how his state voted.

Audra Conner
Audra Conner

no I don't..that's the " only " thing they have 2 run on..the Republicans of my generation have just totally disconnected from reality..it's so funny, they fight quote " Obamacare " tooth and nail ignoring the fact that the majority of Americans support it..i do think some changes should be made to it, it's far from perfect it became something totally different once the bill got 2 our esteemed leaders in Congress...

Peggy Crockett Darington
Peggy Crockett Darington

It is not the job of the government to take care of your ever need. Every give away program has been provided by a democrat president to take and keep control. The price is getting too high. Who will pay when there are no more "rich" people.

Donna Jean Rettmann
Donna Jean Rettmann

Don't think so. Just let the Democrat moochers figure out what all Obama's grand planning is going to cost them! Oh, wait! You maybe in that percentage that doesn't pay any taxes at all!

Donna Jean Rettmann
Donna Jean Rettmann

And us poor middle class people won't be getting hit with tax increases? You really believe that? The cheapest insurance I can find is over $250 a month and has a $7500 deductible! I haven't spent that much on doctors in the last 10 years combined!

Donna Jean Rettmann
Donna Jean Rettmann

You all act like people without health care don't pay to see doctors! Stupid, really, really stupid!

Donna Jean Rettmann
Donna Jean Rettmann

I think these states had better not compromise on this or there will be a lot of governors looking for a new job!

Christopher Hood
Christopher Hood

Compromise: to endanger or dispute with aggressive, foolish behavior.

Oh republicans will compromise, alright. They're going to compromise a persons right to being healthy and being taken care of. And it sure wont benefit me or you (person that posted this).

Joshua Boschke
Joshua Boschke

Walker should of just straight up nullified it, as he is constitutionally allowed to do so. Also, the majority of Americans have been against ObamaCare for quite some time now. Doesn't that make him acting in the interest of the democracy?

Louis Santisteban
Louis Santisteban

They know that. But to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker joined fourteen other Republican governors there POLITICS come first and will do everything possible not to fix or find solution or change for the AMERICAN PEOPLE.

Louis Santisteban
Louis Santisteban

The PEOPLE have voted. All they are doing is tyring to put politics first and Division. Why dont we give it a try and seee what happens instead of this back and fourth never ending BS. The only reason why i did not vote for Romney. Plain and Simple. I do not agree with the Bush tax cut nor this trickle down theory. When will all this stop. At the end of the day we are all AMERICANS

Lynn Cardarelli
Lynn Cardarelli

I hope not. The healthcare bill does little to improve quality of healthcare or lower the cost of healthcare. And it does a lot to lower the level of healthcare many receive in this country. Most of it should be scrapped and they should start all over again. Way to many regulations, rules and bureaucrats involved in making the decisions that belong between a patient and his doctor. If they were interested in truly lowering the cost and upping the quality of care they would have started with tort reform and lowering the cost of becoming a doctor.

Ernie Pastor
Ernie Pastor

Besides Ralph's very GOOD point, what deal are we crazy for passing up. The federal Gov't may be footing the bill, but where are they getting the money from? Us so there is no deal at all if you are a taxpayer.

Jimmy Kidwell
Jimmy Kidwell

They all will cave eventually, their going to want those funds.

Ernie Pastor
Ernie Pastor

No, nor should they as long as the democrats are unwilling to compromise on taxes. I would like nothing more than to be bipartisan, but remember that when this law was crafted, the dems did it behind closed dorrs and shut the republican minority out of the process all together. Unfortunately, that was the time for compromise but a environment for it was not allowed to exist so this is now the only way to affect a change in an othwerwise disastrous law.

Philip Katcher
Philip Katcher

Sorry, we proved in 1865 that state nullification of federal laws doesn't fly.

Eddie Denise
Eddie Denise

GOP is working on their MINORITY RULE platform. Two more years of this and they're gone. Just ask Paul Ryan how he did in his home state.

Ralph Campbell
Ralph Campbell

Wiliam...This is a country that if you don't want to do something, you cannot be forced to. If the Governers and states hold fast against this, they will have thier way.

Rachael Gregory
Rachael Gregory

The GOP doesn't care about it's Citizens Health, it only cares sbout The Party and Winning.

RaDonna Marshall
RaDonna Marshall

IF states don't set up exchanges the federal will in their state UNLESS they nullify the ObamaCare in their state. Federal exchanges will cost ALL of us more...you know how well federal handles expenditures!

Gina Majors
Gina Majors

My thought is about the wasted dollars spent on health care that people didn't get treatment they needed from the Dr.'s or facility they went to and how to protect ourselves from getting took advantage of.

William Charles Deich IV
William Charles Deich IV

Those governors are cutting their own throats! If the states do not set up the exchange, the Federal govt will do it for them -- the stickier issue is refusing to expand Medicaid as part of the exchange -- even though for the 1st 3 years the Federal govt will cover 100% o the cost of the expansion & 90% after that. It's crazy not to take that deal!!!!!!!! I think eventually all the states will expand Medicaid, but it may take these hard line idealog governors being voted out of office

Somaura Jackson
Somaura Jackson

I could have sworn the affordable care act gives States the opportunity to reject the act if they can come up with a better way to serve all of their citizens at lower costs

These states need to stop being half assed and provide better coverage for their people

Something like single payer would be nice

Michael Higham
Michael Higham

Yeah, I kinda don't understand why he wouldn't take up a state-run option. Unless he's trying to make a statement against ACA by not complying with it at all, he's shooting himself in the foot.

And if he really does have his eye on a 2016 bid for the Republican nomination, he's not going very far. We just saw an All-or-nothing approach by the party this election season and it failed miserably. While his state may elect him as governor and help him survive a recall, the rest of the country probably won't find Walker a viable option for President.