Minn. House passes health exchange proposal - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Minn. House passes health exchange proposal

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The Minnesota House has passed a bill establishing Minnesota's health insurance exchange, with its sponsor calling it the most substantial changes to state healthcare policy in 50 years.

The House approved the bill 72 to 58 on Monday after a debate of more than five hours. The bill establishes a new state board to oversee an online marketplace where uninsured individuals and others can shop for and purchase private coverage. It's a centerpiece of the Obama administration's health care overhaul.

The vote was nearly party-line, with just one Republican joining Democrats to pass it. The goal is to cover 1.3 million Minnesotans, including about 300,000 who don't currently have insurance.

The House approved an amendment to prohibit abortions from being covered in plans sold on the exchange.

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota lawmakers are getting ready to vote on the bill that will create the state's version of a health insurance exchange, a way for uninsured people to obtain health coverage that's a centerpiece of the Obama administration's health care overhaul.

The Minnesota House is scheduled to vote on the bill Monday. That follows weeks of hearings and hours of testimony in a total of 9 House committees as lawmakers assembled the complex legislation.

The goal is a website where consumers can choose from insurance plans. Enrollment is supposed to start Oct. 1.

The Senate is scheduled to vote Thursday on its health exchange bill. The bills differ, including in how operating costs for the exchange are covered, with senators tapping state cigarette taxes while House members favor setting aside a portion of premiums.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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