Rep. Hintz responds to Walker’s health care decision

State Rep. Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, joined a long list of legislators, organizations and special interest groups who weighed in on Gov. Scott Walker’s decision not to have Wisconsin create a state-run health insurance exchange, and instead leave the operation to the federal government.

Hintz released a statement accusing Walker of politicizing the decision at the expense of Wisconsinites, and called it a “short-sighted” action.

“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is the law of the land,” Hintz said in the statement. “Numerous business and insurance agents have expressed frustration that Wisconsin would risk turning over regulation of Wisconsin’s insurance market to Washington to make a political point against a health insurance law. Our strong private insurance market would benefit from participating in the development of the health exchange system that addresses cost and access.”

Walker wrote in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that operating a state exchange wouldn’t give Wisconsin enough flexibility to meet the state’s needs.

“No matter which option is chosen, Wisconsin taxpayers will not have meaningful control over the health care policies and services sold to Wisconsin residents,” Walker wrote in the letter. “If the state option is chosen, however, Wisconsinites face risk from a federal mandate lacking long-term guaranteed funding.”

The exchanges will allow people to research health plans and find out what kind of coverage is available to them.

Earlier this week, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran a story about nine Republican legislators who said they would support a bill to arrest any federal officials who tried to implement the health care law.

About Jessie Opoien

Jessie Opoien joined the Oshkosh Northwestern as a reporter in December 2011. Politics and education issues are her specialties, but she loves to tell a good story regardless of the topic. You can find her on Twitter as @jessieopie.
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