RI lawmakers: let US take over health exchange

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A group of state lawmakers in Rhode Island wants to prohibit the state from funding its new health insurance marketplace and let the federal government run the program instead.

The 11 lawmakers announced legislation Wednesday that would prohibit the state from funding HealthSource RI once current federal funding dries up. Rhode Island would then join the more than two dozen states that currently use the federal health insurance exchange.

The bill's sponsor, Republican state Rep. Patricia Morgan, says the state can't afford the cost of operating its own exchange. Co-sponsors of the bill include several Democrats.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee's administration is proposing to use $23 million in federal funds to pay for HealthSource RI next fiscal year. There are no plans for how to pay for the exchange after that.

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