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Democrats Walk Out of Meeting on Insurance Exchange

A second legislative hearing on Kentucky’s federally-mandated health insurance exchange led to a dramatic walkout by Democrats today.For the second consecutive time, the interim joint Health and Welfare committee saw their meeting devolve into arguments over the exchange.And this time, a motion by Republicans to register a vote of disapproval against the exchange led every Democrat to get up and leave in the middle of the meeting.Governor Beshear formed the exchange with an executive order, but Republicans argued he should have sought legislative approval. Republican State Senator Katie Stine says the walkout won’t stop lawmakers from pushing the issue.“If this executive order, which I submit to you is flawed, but if it were to stand and we take no action to put it in cement, it will fall, it will fail,” she said. “By virtue of what our rules are, how our state operates.”Democratic co-chair Tom Burch said the GOP was just being petty.“Now if you want to play that game, senator, and this is what this is all about, is the fact that some of the Republicans are against this and they want to voice their opinion and that’s OK to voice your opinion but this is law now,” he said.The exchange is part of the Affordable Care Act and will allow residents to compare and buy health plans online.

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