Minn. Senate take ups healthcare marketplace 08 Mar 13

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Senate is in the midst of an epic debate over a bill to create the state’s health insurance exchange.

The bill under review Thursday makes major changes to the state’s health care system to make it conform to the federal government’s health insurance mandate. The debate stretched past six hours by dinnertime as Republicans failed in attempted changes to a bill they say is too expensive, too intrusive and lacking in accountability in how the exchange is governed.

The exchange is an online marketplace for the 300,000 uninsured Minnesota, and others, to shop for coverage plans and get assistance paying for it.

The House has already passed its exchange bill. The two bills vary and will ultimately have to be worked out in a conference committee.