Showdown looming over Minnesota health insurance exchange

Gov. Dayton may not be able to create an exchange without legislators on board, and Republicans aren't likely to support a state-run insurance marketplace. The problem is the federal health care overall requires that states show they can run their own exchanges, and if they can't, the federal government will step in to do it for them.
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State officials are working on setting up a public health insurance exchange for Minnesota. Meanwhile, a private version of the same concept is catching on quickly with businesses looking to cut insurance costs.

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IBM software will be used to determine Minnesotan's eligibility for the various programs to be offered through the online insurance platform, the Star Tribune reports. Virginia-based government services firm Maximus was awarded a $41 million contract last week to take the lead on building the new marketplace -- a component of the federal health care law.

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Gov. Dayton on Monday said legislation may be necessary to set up the state's health insurance exchange program. He says his administration is still going over the finer points of the federal law and does not yet know whether a bill from the Legislature would be absolutely necessary. Regardless, he says he's hoping for Republicans' cooperation going forward.

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