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Kansas Governor's Rejection of $31.5M Health Insurance Exchange Grant Prompts Criticism

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback's decision to reject a $31.5 million federal grant to establish a health insurance exchange has met with controversy, according to an LJ World report.

State insurance commissioner Sandy Praeger told lawmakers the state may not be able to make the implementation deadline without the funding. She conceded that development of the exchanges, as well as the entire healthcare reform law, could be changed based on the outcome of next year's presidential race and challenges over the constitutionality of the law.

Health insurance exchanges are intended to serve as 'marketplaces' where individuals and small businesses can comparison shop for insurance. The exchanges are supposed to be established by 2014; if states do not do the job by then, the federal government will step in.

Gov. Brownback supported the grant initially but rejected the funding earlier this fall, saying there were too many strings attached to the money.

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