The Minnesota House has passed a bill establishing Minnesota's health insurance exchange, with its sponsor calling it the most substantial changes to state healthcare policy in 50 years.
The House approved the bill 72 to 58 on Monday after a debate of more than five hours. The bill establishes a new state board to oversee an online marketplace where uninsured individuals and others can shop for and purchase private coverage.
Local lawmakers have differing views on the bill:
Democrat Gene Pelowski says it's better than the federal mandate the state would have been facing under the Obama legislation.
But Republican Steve Drazkowski called it the first step of a health care system takeover in Minnesota by the government.
The House approved an amendment to prohibit abortions from being covered in plans sold on the exchange.