State officials near decision on health exchange

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia lawmakers want to know what the state is going to do about a looming deadline from the federal health care overhaul.Aides to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin are scheduled to brief legislators today about the state's options for a health insurance exchange.An exchange is supposed to allow individuals and small businesses to combine their buying power so they can obtain coverage from private insurers.
States have until Dec. 14 to decide whether to run their own exchanges. At least 16 states and Washington, D.C., have already chosen that option. Another 18 want the federal government to run theirs for them.West Virginia is leaning toward a state-federal partnership. At least six other states are taking that route.Five House-Senate study committees will take part in today's presentation. 
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