Like the Plague
Walker isn't the only governor not creating an insurance exchange.
With the deadline looming today for states to apply to setup their own health insurance exchanges under the federal health care reform law, only 18 have said they will, according to Kaiser Health News. At least thirty -- including Wisconsin -- are planning on deferring to the federal government, which is required under the law to administer exchanges for states if they don't come up with their own.
Almost all of the country's Republican governors and some of its Democrats have said they'll wait for the federal provision to kick in. This fall, Gov. Scott Walker was criticized by a number of interests when he announced that the state wouldn't be designing its own exchange. Using whatever exchange is created in 2013, small businesses and individuals will be able to access federal subsidies, compare pricing and benefits and pool their collective buying power.
Federal officials expected more states to take the lead in crafting their own exchanges, and Wisconsin made its own efforts under former Gov. Jim Doyle. But after Walker's election, the Wauwatosa Republican shifted course and eventually shut down the office created under Doyle to begin planning for federal health care reform.