DHS Secretary: U.S. Government Must Fix Problem If Supreme Court Ends Federal Health Subsidies

Rhoades Testifies Before Budget Committee


The head of the state’s Department of Health Services said Tuesday it will be up to the federal government to find a fix if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down federal health insurance subsidies for states like Wisconsin.

Gov. Scott Walker declined to set up a state-run health insurance exchange as part of President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, opting instead to join the majority of states in the federal exchange. But with a pending Supreme Court case casting doubt on the tax subsidies that make the federal exchange work, some states are reconsidering their decisions.

Health Services Secretary Kitty Rhoades was asked by state Sen. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon, what Wisconsin will do if the court overturns those subsidies.

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“We’ll offer up our suggestions and what we believe should happen, but this is definitely back in their ballpark,” said Rhoades.

When Olsen pointed out that Wisconsin citizens would be affected, Rhoades said that the state will work with the U.S. government “to make sure that they get it fixed right.”

Rhoades also reaffirmed Walker’s decision to reject federal funding to expand Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act, a decision the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau says will cost state government roughly $350 million.