State Rep. Mark Pocan, who is running for the U.S. House of Representatives seat being vacated by Tammy Baldwin, is looking for ways to force implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Wisconsin. Gov. Scott Walker has said that he would not take action, even though the U.S. Supreme Court last week upheld key parts of the landmark legislation.
Pocan on Tuesday wrote to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to see if the state has permanently lost the $38 million of federal funding Walker rejected last winter to help Wisconsin implement one of the act's provisions, an exchange that would help people find insurance plans.
"This isn't a college term paper, it's a federal law, and failure to follow it has consequences," Pocan wrote.
J.P. Wieske, a spokesman for the state's Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, says there is no need to rush. The state has until Nov. 16 to declare whether it will establish an exchange or let the federal government do it instead. After that, it has until 2014 to establish the exchange.
Says Wieske: "There's no reason to waste time and resources if this is going to be repealed eventually."