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Legislative battle looms over Illinois health-insurance exchange

Updated: December 13, 2012 10:25AM

Illinois is reviewing contract submittals from five vendors to help build a health-insurance exchange that is a cog of Obama­care, while a potential battle looms in the Legislature over its control and funding.

“ ‘Obamacare’ is a priority for the governor, obviously,” said Brooke Anderson, a spokeswoman for Gov. Pat Quinn. “We’re moving full-speed ahead to provide more access to people to improve the health of the people of Illinois.”

Under Quinn’s leadership, the state has moved to set up its own exchange, rather than one run by the federal government beginning in 2014. A blueprint of that plan has to be submitted to the federal government by the end of the month.

The firm chosen to build the exchange — where up to 800,000 uninsured Illinoisans and businesses with less than 50 employees can buy insurance coverage — will set up a website for users seeking private insurance, Medicaid or the state’s children’s health insurance program.

Health-care advocates, including the Campaign for Better Health Care, want the Legislature to weigh in on the health-insurance exchange by passing legislation that would dictate how the exchange is funded and controlled. But so far, that push has stalled.

Dave McKinney

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