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(AP) - Arkansas' top insurance official is asking lawmakers to support the state's application for a nearly $3.8 million dollar grant to begin planning for a key part of the federal health care overhaul.
Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford told a legislative panel on Monday that the state won't apply for the grant to plan for a health insurance exchange without the Legislature's support. Friday is the application deadline.
The health care law created new marketplaces for insurance known as exchanges that will open for business in 2014. A bill authorizing Arkansas to set up its exchange stalled in the Legislature earlier this year.
The state House's top Republican says Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe doesn't need legislative support to apply for the grant. Bradford said Beebe wouldn't go forward without lawmakers' backing.
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