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Bill Aims to Limit Executive Authority in State Health Exchange

A State Senate committee heard testimony today on legislation designed to block Governor Jay Nixon from creating a health insurance exchange. 

The proposed exchange is part of the national health care law signed by President Obama nearly two years ago. All states are required to have an online exchange where individuals and small businesses can buy health coverage.Any state that doesn’t have one by the year 2014 will have one created for them by Washington.

The bill sponsored by GOP Senator Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph would block the governor and any agency under his authority from creating an exchange by executive order:

“He’s empowered Missouri Health Insurance Pool to apply for a grant, taken steps to create an exchange,” says Schaaf. “[It] shouldn’t be allowed to happen, this is the purview of the legislature, not the governor.”

If passed, the bill would bypass the governor’s office and go directly before Missouri voters, just as Proposition C did in 2010.

Marshall Griffin is the Statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio.
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