Colorado health exchange up for 1st hearing

Filed under: Daily News |

A new health insurance market for Colorado is up for its first big test in the state Legislature.

A Senate committee planned to start work Thursday on a divisive proposal to create a health insurance exchange. It would be an insurance pool allowing individuals and small businesses more choice when shopping for health insurance.

The federal health care overhaul requires states to set up exchanges by 2014, and some conservatives say Colorado would be wrong to go along with the idea. But Republican supporters say health exchanges encourage free-market competition and that if Colorado doesn’t create an exchange, the federal government will step in and create one anyway.

The measure has bipartisan sponsors, and the backing of Gov. John Hickenlooper.