Republicans argued unsuccessfully against the health exchange, which allows individuals and small employers to pool together to lower premiums. Democrats and business groups say the exchange would promote competition. The measure passed on a party-line vote, with all Democrats in favor and all Republicans against.
States were directed by the federal law to create exchanges by 2013. Some opponents of that law say states shouldn’t comply with that provision.
It’s unclear how the exchange will fare in the GOP House. Republican Leader Amy Stephens has co-sponsored the idea, but other Republicans are likely to resist.