As a New Year begins, most of us begin planning for change by way of a New Year’s Resolution. Popular resolutions usually include improving your health – be it by losing weight, eating healthier foods or by improving your access to preventative and comprehensive care. Ok, maybe the last one requires something more than a “resolution” but for many, 2012 was poised to bring us closer to accessing adequate and affordable care by setting a plan in place that will shape statewide health care marketplaces (Exchanges).
Recently, Governor Walker released a statement that Wisconsin would not move forward with this critical portion of ‘Obamacare’ – or at least not until the U.S. Supreme Court hears challenges to the law The statewide marketplaces are to serve as a “no wrong door” way to obtain coverage. In Wisconsin, this recent decision from the Governor has closed the doors on health care marketplaces altogether until the Courts rule on the law. To learn more about the easy-access exchanges and what they offer, you can review “gift ten” of our 12 Days of “Gifts” from the Affordable Care Act blog series.
According to Governor Walker, moving forward with implementation of the health care marketplaces would be a waste of time if the law is ruled as unconstitutional. With an expected final decision from the U.S. Supreme Court reaching into the warm weather months,– if we do not continue with planning our state exchange we risk the chance of not meeting the January 2013 deadline for having an effective exchange plan – resulting in the federal government taking over implementation with a federally facilitated Exchange.
In Wisconsin, this “do or die” year in health care is not stepping out on the right foot – and has even insurers shaking at their knees. Read this article in the Journal Sentinel to learn more about why this recent decision by the Governor has health insurers worried.
With insurance costs rising, the need for statewide health care marketplaces to ensure affordable coverage is easily obtainable is a crucial part of reform. In a recent article, Robert Kraig , Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin, emphasized the importance of reform in Wisconsin due to the rising costs to health care around the state. He notes that insurance premiums have risen 18% above that of the nation average. If you would like to know more on this article, you can view it here.