RALEIGH – By Friday, North Carolina needs to decide how it wants to handle health exchanges under the Affordable Care Act.

Lawmakers said they want the state to create their own, but it is up to Gov. Bev Perdue to decide.

The deadline is coming as no surprise, but that didn’t stop state after state — including North Carolina — from procrastinating.

“Folks wanted to see what the outcome of the Supreme Court case was going to be,” said Rep. Nelson Dollar, a Wake County Republican. “As well, frankly, as the outcome of the elections.”

But President Barack Obama won and the Affordable Care Act is safe from a repeal.

This means a Friday, Nov. 16 deadline to announce intent and details of any plans for a State Health Exchange are quickly approaching.

Last week, the administration gave a slight reprieve which included an extension on providing details until December However, intent still needs to be declared by Friday.

In a letter to governors across the country, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote: "We are committed to providing you with the flexibility, resources, and technical assistance necessary to help you achieve successful implementation of your state’s exchange and look forward to continuing to work with you as we implement the health care law."

The decision now falls in the lap of Perdue, whose communications director, Chris Mackey said in a statement: "We are determining which option would serve in the best interest of North Carolina families and taxpayers. Gov. Perdue understands all of the options provided to us under federal law. Ultimately, the final implementation of the law will involve the executive branch, DOI and the legislative branch. "

Members of the legislative Health and Human Services Committee say since they are not in session right now, they don’t get a say. But, the lawmakers do have an opinion on what they are hopeful the governor will do.

“I’d rather the state of North Carolina to establish a health exchange than have the federal government do it for us,” said Sen. Bill Purcell, a Scotland County Democrat.

For his part, Governor-elect Pat McCrory continues to study this issue.

He has already spoken once to other Republican governors from across the country and his staff said he will continue to do that as he evaluates how he believes North Carolina should move forward.