Battle brews in Minnesota over health care exchanges

Battle brews in Minnesota over health care exchanges Click to Enlarge Photo:

Oct 3, 2011 at 9:04 am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A battle is brewing over whether Minnesota chooses to design and run a pillar of the federal health care overhaul or cedes control to Washington.

Minnesota, like all states, will eventually have a health insurance exchange, an online marketplace where consumers and small businesses can compare and buy health plans.

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton has secured millions of federal dollars to design a Minnesota exchange. But Minnesota Public Radio reports leading lawmakers from both parties say it probably needs approval from the GOP-controlled Legislature. And opposition to the health overhaul runs deep among many Republicans.

But if Republicans block a state-run exchange, the feds will step in and operate it.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says Washington can't wait until the last moment for states to decide.

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