Healthcare exchange deadline looms - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Healthcare exchange deadline looms


WAUSAU (WAOW) - An important health care deadline is quickly approaching.

It will decide who will run a system for choosing health care options. Governors across the country are faced with a Friday deadline.

State lawmakers in our state are weighing in on what Governor Scott Walker should do.

The exchange is a marketplace where people without insurance can go to compare health care options. Governor Scott Walker has to decide by Friday if Wisconsin will run its own.

"The question is, which is the best way to implement an exchange in the state," Governor Scott Walker said.

States have three options for the exchange. The first would give a state its own control. The second would have the federal government do it for them, and the third would be a partnership of the two.

"There's a part of me that looks at a state run one and says I don't want to give anything I don't have to the federal government. The risk you run is if the state runs it, eventually money goes away from the federal government, state tax payers to pick up more and more of that cost," Walker continued.

But Wisconsin Democratic lawmakers are urging Walker to choose the state-run exchange.

In a letter to him -- saying "We write asking that you indeed move forward by creating an exchange that builds off the unique strengths of our Wisconsin health care system and is tailored to meet the needs of Wisconsin consumers."

One of the democrats to sign the letter, Congresswoman Gwen Moore from Wisconsin's 4th district.

"We think we have some experience with delivering good services. It would be a shame to have all of that lost by a totally federally operated program," Moore said.

The specifics of the exchange are not due to the federal government until December 14th. On Friday, all that's due is Governor Walker's word on if Wisconsin will run its own.

Members of Governor Walker's office say a decision is expected on Friday.

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