Md. Legislature Passes Health Exchange Bill

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Maryland General Assembly has finished work on legislation to create the framework for a public marketplace to provide health care to the uninsured.

The state Senate gave final approval to the bill Thursday, sending it to Gov. Martin O’Malley for his signature.

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

Under the federal law, states are expected to have viable exchanges set up by 2014.

Opponents of the bill say Maryland is moving too fast because the federal law is currently being reviewed by the Supreme Court.

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

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