The Minnesota Senate has approved a bill to create the state's health insurance exchange. Lawmakers voted Thursday night to approve a measure that helps the state's health care system conform with the federal health insurance mandate. The insurance exchange is an online marketplace for residents to shop for coverage plans.
The measure was approved largely on a partyline vote with Republicans having a lot of concerns. Republican Senator Jeremy Miller of Winona says it creates a whole new agency with a $60 million annual budget. Miller says there will be little control of the health care board in the bill which will be appointed by the governor.
The bill will now go to a House-Senate conference committee to work out differences with the House bill before Governor Mark Dayton will be asked to sign it into law.