Washington State Moves Early to Start Healthcare Law

Monday, 14 Mar 2011 03:40 PM

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Washington lawmakers are moving ahead to institute pieces of the federal health reform law before the January 2014 deadline despite the many legal challenges it faces. Lawmakers have introduced bills to set up state health insurance exchanges that have passed both the state House and Senate, the Olympian reported Monday.

House Republican Leader Richard DeBolt of Chehalis voted against the House bill because he opposes the healthcare reform law that Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed last year. But Democrats voted down opponents. A similar Senate bill passed last week a well in a mostly party-line vote.

Lawmakers said they want the state to have an exchange in place because Republican efforts to kill federal reform in Congress or in the federal courts might fail. If that happens, the state will have its own exchange, or the federal government will set one up instead.

Several Republican voted with the Democrats, agreeing that some form of health insurance exchange is inevitable.

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