Washington House lawmakers have approved a bill to establish a health benefit exchange by 2014 in compliance with federal health care reform.
The exchange’s function is to increase access to affordable health care by facilitating the purchase of benefits coverage by individuals and small groups.
If the bill passes, Washington will be eligible to apply for federal grants to aid in the exchange’s implementation. Lawmakers would determine the scope of the exchange in their next session.
Monday’s House vote was 75-22. The measure now returns to the Senate for approval of amendments.