Haslam says no to state health insurance exchange

Haslam says no to state health insurance exchange (Image 1)
Haslam says no to state health insurance exchange (Image 1)

By By ERIK SCHELZIG
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam has decided not to create a state-run health insurance exchange, leaving the operation to the federal government.

Haslam announced his decision during a speech Monday. The Republican governor, who had until Friday to decide, said the lack of information from the federal government was “scary.”

The exchanges, part of the federal health care overhaul, create new online markets where consumers will be able to buy individual private health insurance coverage.

Haslam previously said the state likely could run an exchange more efficiently but acknowledged getting legislative approval would be difficult.

Many Republican lawmakers ran for office on a platform of opposing President Barack Obama's health care plan. Tea party supporters protested the idea of a state-run exchange outside the Capitol last week, deriding it as “Haslamcare.”

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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