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Panel to consider health care exchange

Posted: March 9, 2011 - 6:31am

JUNEAU — An Alaska senator says a legislative effort to establish a health insurance exchange is more important than ever following a judge’s decision last week.

Democratic Sen. Hollis French has proposed legislation to establish an exchange. Alaska was the only state that didn’t apply for federal funds to implement a program. Gov. Sean Parnell said a federal judge’s ruling in Florida, striking down the federal health care overhaul as unconstitutional, was the law of the land, as it pertained to the state.

Alaska was one of 26 states party to the case. But the judge last week clarified his ruling, saying states must continue implementing the law while the case winds through the courts.

A scheduled hearing for French’s bill Tuesday was postponed.

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