|By SCOTT BAUER; SCOTT BAUER The Associated Press|
Walker faced a Friday deadline to notify President
Walker was out of the office Tuesday, on his way to the annual
Democrats who favor the state-run exchange find themselves in the position of urging Walker, along with Republicans who control the state Legislature, to take control of the process instead of the Obama administration.
Ceding control of creating the exchange to the federal government would result in important decisions being made in
Democrats in the state's congressional delegation told Walker in a letter sent Tuesday.
"Should state leaders ever want to establish an exchange, relinquishing control to the federal government now would make it much more difficult to pursue state adoption in the future," the Democrats said.
The letter was signed by U.S. Sen.
Walker also was getting pressure from the right.
The conservative group Americans for Limited Government sent Walker a letter Tuesday calling on him not to implement a state exchange. And on Monday, 20 members of various tea party groups across
"We have done right by you. We now urge you to once again do right by us," the letter from tea party leaders said. "You are unquestionably being pressured by powerful lobbying firms and by the federal government alike as you make this decision. Undoubtedly, you face great temptation to take the path of least resistance. This is the moment of truth. What will you do?"
If Walker chooses to move ahead with the exchange, he may face problems from Republicans in
At least 17 states and the
A variety of other health care and business groups have called on him to pursue a state-run exchange, including the powerful Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, which has supported Walker, the
States that decide to set up their own exchanges have until
There are several potential benefits to the state operating its exchange.
The biggest advantage may be that states would be more closely involved with the coordination between the exchanges and their
States also can decide whether to allow open access to all insurers, or only work with a panel of pre-screened companies that meet certain requirements.
In addition, the exchanges will offer coverage to people buying in the individual and small business markets, and those are areas that states have traditionally regulated. Without a state-run exchange, states would undercut the role of their own regulators in an important new market.
When the legislation was being considered in
Walker was a staunch opponent of the law and stopped all implementation until after last week's election, on the hopes that Obama would lose and the law would be repealed. But with Obama's victory, and Democrats retaining control of the
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