States have until mid-December to make Obamacare healthcare exchanges. Walker seems to be working on one.

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Image by Earls37a of flickr

Scott Walker got an extension on his homework.

From the NYTimes:
“Trying to show flexibility without slowing down President Barack Obama’s health care law, the administration said Friday states can have more time to work out their roles in providing health care to millions of uninsured Americans.

In a letter to governors, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said she still wants to hear by the end of next week if states will be setting up health insurance markets under the law. But governors can now take another month, until mid-December, to submit detailed blueprints.”

Citizen Action of Wisconsin says the Walker administration probably has some sort of shoddy healthcare exchange in the works:
“Despite Governor Walker’s public position that the state would do no planning until after the election, internal documents obtained by Citizen Action of Wisconsin and released Wednesday reveal that a top official told Walker’s Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith that Wisconsin can be prepared to submit its blueprint for an exchange on November 16. This suggests that substantial planning may have been taking place behind closed doors and without input from stakeholders, legislators, and the public.”

A couple of added notes:
* If Wisconsin does not provide a healthcare exchange for Obamacare the federal government will make one.

* NCSL has a very nice interactive map of states to show where they are in establishing their own state health insurance exchanges.
According to that map Wisconsin joins these states in at some point declaring a refusal to create an exchange:
Texas
Florida
Louisiana
South Dakota
South Carolina
New Hampshire
Maine

Just for chuckles, I clicked on Texas and then located Governor Rick Perry’s letter to HHS which starts out with this friendly bit:
“In the ObamaCare plan, the federal government sought to force the states to expand their Medicaid programs by *in the words of the Supreme Court putting a gun to their heads. Now
that the “gun to the head” has been removed, please relay this message to the President: I oppose both the expansion of Medicaid as provided in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the creation of a so-called “state” insurance exchange, because both represent brazen intrusions into the sovereignty of our state.”

You can learn more about the super-secret Walker plan over at Does Gov. Walker Have a Secret Health Exchange Plan?

If you are interested in learning more about ACA often called “Obamacare”, I suggest this very readable and well-cited write-up over at reddit in the “EXPLAINLIKEIMFIVE” subreddit.

If you’re want a calculator to help you figure out how Obamacare will impact YOU specifically, check out this thing at Washington Post:
What does the Supreme Court’s health-care ruling mean for me?

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