Minn. rally shows GOP rift on health exchange bill

A rift among Republicans over a piece of the federal health care overhaul was showing Thursday at a Capitol rally.

Several GOP lawmakers spoke against a Republican bill to establish a state health insurance exchange. The federal law requires states to start exchanges for consumers to buy insurance starting in 2014.

The exchange bill has nine Republican sponsors including Reps. Steve Gottwalt (GAHT’-walt), Joe Hoppe (HAHP’-pee) and Joyce Peppin (peh-pin). Supporters including business groups want Minnesota to set up the exchange instead of letting the federal government do it.

GOP Sen. Gretchen Hoffman says opponents of the health care overhaul should fight the health insurance exchanges.

She and several other Republican lawmakers are backing legislation to prohibit an exchange in Minnesota.