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Iowa's Obamacare plans won't help Wisconsin's exchange

by
Health care graphic copyright Midwest Communications, Inc.
Health care graphic copyright Midwest Communications, Inc.

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin won’t get much help from neighboring Iowa, as Governor Scott Walker decides whether the state should set up its own health insurance purchasing exchange.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad says he doesn’t have enough information to make a decision, as a federal deadline rapidly approaches.

Friday is when states must tell Washington whether they plan to set up their own marketplaces, where individuals and small businesses can choose from a menu of private health plans.

If they don’t submit their own exchange proposals, the federal government says they’ll have to accept a standard template from Washington, when the exchanges take effect in 2014 as part the Obama health reform law.

A spokesman says Iowa’s Branstad cannot make an informed decision. He said the federal government has created arbitrary deadlines for the states, without answering basic questions to help them identify their best options.

The U.S. Health and Human Services Department says it’s giving states until December 14th to submit detailed proposals for their exchanges – and the government expects to decide by January 1st whether or not to approve them. 

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