MADISON - Wisconsin won't start a state-run health insurance exchange under the Affordable Health Care Act. That's what Governor Scott Walker said today.
The state will comply with the law, but will let the Feds handle the exchanges.
Governor Walker emphasized that more than 90 percent of Wisconsin has health insurance - that's without an exchange. But Walker thinks the idea of a State-Exchange is in name only.
Instead, the Federal Government makes the final decision on everything anyway.
These exchanges are supposed to make it easier for small businesses and people to shop for insurance.
"They don't give the kind of true flexibility that would be required to provide something unique for our state, the state of Wisconsin," Governor Walker said. "Therefore, one of my biggest concerns is that had we chosen a state-run exchange it would provide long-term to the Wisconsin taxpayer and that is too high."
Some Walker supporters like the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce hoped for a state-run exchange.
Meanwhile, many opponents said Walker made the wrong decision since creating an exchange would give Wisconsin control.
The Governor says there are costs that aren't controlled and not fully-funded.
"Whether or not we like it, we're complying with the law," Walker said. "The differences between the three options under the law are really minimal, if at all, in terms of the impact on consumers. So in the end, we chose the option that provides the greatest amount of security, the greatest amount of protection for the taxpayers of the state of Wisconsin."
Today was supposed to be the deadline for states to decide on exchanges,
But yesterday the Department of Health and Human Services pushed the date to December 14.
Also a Ministry Health Care spokesperson put out a statement today saying they wanted a state-run exchange, but respect the Governor's decision.
RHINELANDER - Our record breaking snow storm left more than 6,000 people across the Northwoods without power.
WPS had to rely on 20 extra crews from Green Bay, Wausau and Menominee to restore power.
But getting to the outages was a challenge.
A representative for WPS says workers are expecting even more outages to be reported.
"Not all of the back roads are plowed yet and that's where a lot of outages are located," said Leah Van Zile, WPS Community Relations leader. "Throughout the day as the temperatures warm, we expect to receive additional calls due to the unloading of snow off of the tree branches."
Eagle River had one of the highest number of customers affected by the outages.
Representatives for WPS say this was one of the hardest winters they've had to deal with.
"We've had some really, really severe wind chills which has really made the temperatures below zero. Typically, only in emergencies do we work in those conditions," said Van Zile. "But pretty much any other time, whether it's a rain storm, a snow storm, a wind storm, our guys are out there working, getting that power back on."
The number of outages dropped below 4,000 since earlier today.
If you're still without power to call 1800-450-7240.
ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Do bugs seem to be everywhere in your home, even though there's snow outside? One type of bug in Wisconsin spends the winter inside our houses! They look like Lady Bugs, but they are actually not native to this country.
"They're actually called a multi-colored Asian Lady Beetle. They can be anywhere from a pale yellow to a darker orange and they have black spots on them but you'll see some that don't have spots," says Kerri Ison, UW Oneida County Extension.
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