July 25, 2014

Lawmakers urge action on health exchanges

Democratic state lawmakers are calling on Governor Walker to start work on implementing the federal Affordable Care Act right away.

The health care reform law requires states to establish health insurance exchanges by January of next year. The governor has halted work on the effort so far, and state Representative Jon Richards (D-Milwaukee) says time is running out.

If the state does not have a plan in place by the first of the year, the federal government would likely impose its own exchange. Richards says that would deny the state the chance to design a plan that works best for the people of Wisconsin.

A letter from Richards and 36 other state lawmakers calls on Governor Walker to create a bipartisan committee to work on an exchange right away.

The governor has indicated he will wait until after the November elections, since Republican wins in the presidential and congressional races could lead to the health care law being overturned. Richards argues it should not be left until the last minute because of the complex decisions that need to be made while developing an exchange.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:15)