Newsmakers: Department of Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith
On Jan. 18, Gov. Scott Walker ordered that Wisconsin stop all planning to implement the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, becoming only the third state to do so. In a Jan. 20 Newsmakers interview, Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith explained why that decision, which reversed a one-year old policy, was necessary because of the refusal of federal officials to let states design their own health-care information and buying exchanges. If the federal law survives a U.S. Supreme Court challenge, the federal government in 2014 will set up exchanges for all states that have not done so. A former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Smith said that critical national health-care decisions won’t be made until 2013, after the November elections.