Rhode Island Governor Issues Executive Order to Create Health Insurance Exchange

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee will issue an executive order today creating a health insurance exchange, according to a Providence Journal report.

Gov. Chafee has also chosen the exchange's board of directors, to be chaired by former U.S. Attorney Margaret E. "Meg" Curran.

The board will create a health insurance "marketplace" that allows individuals and small businesses to comparison shop for insurance. The exchange is intended to ensure that nearly all Rhode Island residents have access to affordable health insurance. Under the federal healthcare reform law, states must set up health insurance exchanges by Jan. 2014 or accept federal assistance.

The executive order may face some challenges from the Rhode Island Right to Life Committee, which wants to prevent the exchange from selling health insurance that covers abortion when state or federal subsidies are used.

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