ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown says the legislature needs to approve a bill that continues to set up guidelines for a government-developed health insurance market.

Brown testified Wednesday before the state Senate committee on a bill that expands laws passed last year to create a federally mandated insurance exchange.

He said the marketplace, which is supposed to help individuals and small businesses purchase health insurance, will cut the number of uninsured Marylanders in half by 2020.

The bill faces a stack of amendments; some which officials say will be worked into the bill at a meeting next week.

Brown said he will present legislation to finance the exchange next year. Maryland has already received $34 million in federal dollars to develop the marketplace, which is supposed to be self-sustaining by 2015.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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