Legislature to determine how health insurance exchange will workGovernor-elect Scott Walker has indicated Wisconsin will set up its own online marketplace to shop for health insurance.
By: Shamane Mills, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Governor-elect Scott Walker has indicated Wisconsin will set up its own online marketplace to shop for health insurance. How that so-called 'exchange' might work will eventually be decided by the legislature.
One of the biggest questions about a health exchange is who would run it: the state or the federal government. During the campaign, Governor-elect Walker indicated he opposed national health reform----state exchanges (containing private insurers) are a big part of it. Republican state Senator Alberta Darling says the new governor is looking at existing exchanges that aim for more affordable health insurance without big government. She says Walker and others are considering Utah’s model.
A special advisory committee is coming up with a bill for lawmakers to consider. In the draft bill are 'guiding principles', like avoiding a pool of patients who are sickly and costly to insure.
Committee member Joe Leean warns if there aren't enough participants in the exchange it will fail.
“This is going to go down in flames, obviously, if it becomes a very selective marketplace or if it becomes a dumping ground for high risk people," warns Leean.
Yet to be decided is the contentious issue of how big the Wisconsin Health Exchange Authority should be and who should be on the board.
Robert Palmer, CEO for Dean Health Plan, had concerns about exclusion.
“If you keep health plans and the insurance industry out of this, or down to one representative you will--we will-- cause industry to potentially take itself elsewhere, outside of the exchange more likely than inside."
The health reform committee will meet again in January.