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Walker: no immediate plans for state health care exchange

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Governor Scott Walker's office says it will not rush to create Wisconsin's own health care marketplace to preserve tax subsides that were placed in doubt yesterday. A federal appeals court in Washington said the federal subsidies in the Affordable Care Act apply only to 14 states which run their own exchanges -- and not Wisconsin and 35 other states which use the standard federal exchange. However, another appeals in court in Virginia upheld an I-R-S rule which grants subsidized care for people in all 50 states.

Walker spokeswoman Jocelyn Webster would not say if Wisconsin would create its own exchange if it meant preserving subsidies for users. She said the 130-thousand Wisconsinites under Obama-care are not affected at this point -- and the Republican Walker won't deal in "hypotheticals." The White House said consumers would keep getting the subsidies until the legal implications are sorted out. Media reports said about 90-percent of Wisconsinites who bought care in the federal exchange qualified for subsidies when they signed up.

Walker's office put the blame on what Webster called the government's "inept interpretation of their own flawed law."

Walker's main election opponent, Democrat Mary Burke, said the governor's health care decisions "defy common sense" and are "politically-driven." Most others were confused by the dueling court decisions. Milwaukee's Arise Health Plan heard from a number of confused Obama-care clients.

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