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Lawmakers to Study Health Insurance Exchange (May 18, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Legislative leaders say they won't consider a plan this year to set up a health-insurance exchange required under the new federal health care law and instead plan to study the issue during the interim.

In a joint announcement made on Wednesday, House Speaker Kris Steele and Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman said they have ordered the formation of a joint committee to recommend how the state should address the federal health care law.

After bitter opposition from tea party and other grassroots groups, GOP lawmakers earlier this year rejected a $54 million federal grant to help the cash-strapped state set up an exchange website where Oklahomans can shop for and purchase health insurance.

Bingman says lawmakers need time to "absorb the weight of this federal law."

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