Republican House members have introduced legislation that would prohibit creation of a health insurance exchange as proscribed by the 2010 federal health care overhaul. Rep. Doug Wardlow, R-Eagan, is the chief author of the bill. Eight other Republican legislators are co-sponsors.
The bill reflects tensions in the GOP caucus regarding how to respond to the federal health care law, which they widely deride as “Obamacare.” The chief sponsor of a bill establishing a health insurance exchange — essentially a marketplace for individuals to purchase coverage — is Rep. Steve Gottwalt, R-St. Cloud, chair of the Health and Human Services Reform Committee. Eight other Republicans are co-sponsors of the legislation.
Traditional GOP allies such as Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce support establishing a health care exchange. But some conservative Republicans believe it’s an unwise capitulation to the controversial federal legislation. States are required to establish the exchanges by 2014 or the federal government will step in and do it for them.