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  • Federal Funding for Health Insurance Exchanges Repealed

     House Republicans voted on Tuesday to deny funding for a central element of the law that sets up marketplaces for people to shop for health insurance coverage.  The bill passed by the House of Representatives would rescind some $1.9 billion in grants that are being made available under the health care law to help states establish insurance exchanges where individuals and small businesses can shop for medical coverage plans.

    Democratic Representative Frank Pallone said the effort to deny federal grants to the states would not kill the exchanges. Rather, it would make it harder for cash-strapped states to establish their own marketplaces and give more power to the federal government, Pallone said.

    The health care law calls for the federal government to set up exchanges for states that fail to establish their own.

    The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the House bill would delay establishment of state exchanges and save $14.6 billion over the next 10 years mostly because fewer people would purchase government-subsidized insurance.

    About 500,000 people would be without health coverage in 2015 because of the delay, CBO said in a recent analysis of the bill.

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