States' choices set up national health experiment

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Associated Press

Posted on February 15, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 15 at 4:00 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's health care overhaul is turning into a national experiment with consumers as the guinea pigs.

Here's the question: Who will do a better job getting uninsured people covered, the states or the feds?

Friday is the deadline for states to say if they want a say in running new insurance markets under the law. And the nation is about evenly split between mostly Democratic-led states that decided to jump in and mainly Republican-led defaulting to federal control.

Barring last-minute switches, 23 states plus Washington, D.C., will run their own markets or partner with the Obama administration. Twenty-six states are defaulting to the feds. Utah's status is unclear.

The CEO of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Ben Nelson, predicts experimentation will be good.

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