Illinois is waiting to set up an insurance exchange until the US Supreme Court decides the fate of the national health care law. The exchange is a key component of the Affordable Care Act. It's a marketplace that people who don't otherwise have insurance can use to choose a health care plan. Insurance companies, health care advocates and business groups have been meeting weekly about it. Representative Frank Mautino, a Spring Valley Democrat, had been leading the talks, but says he's called them off until the U.S. Supreme Court issues a ruling on Obamacare:
"My goal is to do this with Democrat and Republican votes in a bipartisan fashion. The feds have said we have to do this. So I want to set up an exchange that works, has a funding mechanism that doesn't rely on the state because we don't have any money, and third of all will have both Democratic and Republican support. With that case pending, I can't get that."
Illinois had been trying to set up an exchange in time to cash in on a federal grant. Mautino says an extension relieves some of that pressure. He says a possibility does remain that, with the delay, Illinois could miss out on federal money that would pay for new computers.
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