Governor awaits the fate of the Affordable Care Act to continue work on the project –
Wisconsin decided this week to return federal money that would have helped the state establish its own health insurance exchange. The state had been given more than $38 million in federal grants for the project last year. Since then, legislators have been working on how to establish and exchange and whether or not one would actually exist in the state. Governor Scott Walker has been an opponent of the federal Affordable Care Act, the law that requires states to build exchanges, since it was passed in 2010.
With the Affordable Care Act currently heading to the Supreme Court for a ruling on its constitutionality, Governor Walker claims that any work on a state-run exchange may be a waste of time. If the law is struck down by the Supreme Court, the state would no longer be required to build an insurance exchange. Walker notes that the benefits the exchange would bring to consumers have not yet been determined. Consumer advocacy groups claim that the exchange would have brought affordable health insurance to thousands of Wisconsin residents.
According to the American Cancer Society, a health insurance exchange tailored for the needs of state residents would be a major accomplishment in health care. If the Affordable Care Act remains intact and the state does not work fast to build an exchange, it will lose all ability to govern the program as the federal government will take control of the project.
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