House passes health exchange bill

ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland House of Delegates has passed a measure to create a framework for a health insurance market place to provide coverage to uninsured 700,000 residents.

The House voted 94-44 for the bill Monday. A similar bill is pending in the Senate.

The measure builds on legislation passed last year to create the health care exchange, a mandate of federal health care reform. The measure sets up standards and regulations to run the program. Maryland has about uninsured 700,000 residents.

Democratic supporters say the state needs to be prepared to implement the law by the January 2014 deadline under federal law.

Republican critics of the measure say Maryland is moving too fast, because the law is being challenged in the Supreme Court. The high court began hearing arguments on Monday.

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