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US gives states more time to work on health exchanges

Published on Nov 10, 2012 8:05 AM

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The Obama administration gave states extra time to work towards setting up new health insurance exchanges, days after President Barack Obama's re-election ensured the survival of his healthcare reform law.

The move is seen as a concession to dozens of states that delayed compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act until after the Nov 6 election. Opponents of the plan had hoped a victory for Republican Mitt Romney would ultimately result in the law's repeal.

But with Mr Obama now heading into a second term and a Nov 16 federal deadline to declare their plans looming, many states needed more time to prepare for exchanges, complex marketplaces meant to offer working families private insurance at federally subsidised rates beginning in 2014.

Since the election on Tuesday, seven states including Texas, Kansas, Virginia and Florida have said they will not pursue state-operated exchanges and conservative political donors are mounting a publicity campaign to encourage more defections.

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