Time for states to decide on health care exchanges

by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar
This Jan. 9, 2012 file photo shows Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter delivering his State of the State address inside the House chambers at the Idaho Statehouse in Boise, Idaho. At least 19 states have turned down the Obama administration's invitation to run new health insurance markets that will be serving millions of uninsured Americans in less than a year. That means the Feds will step in and operate the programs, a defining challenge for President Barack Obama's second term. Otter supports a state run health exchange. (AP/Photo Matt Cilley, File)

(AP)—Friday is decision day for states to notify Washington if they will run their own insurance markets under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

A check by The Associated Press finds them divided.

Nineteen states have turned down the administration's invitation to set up health insurance exchanges, which will start serving millions of in less than a year.

That leaves the feds with the huge task of doing it for them, one of the challenges that will define Obama's second term.

On the other side, 17 states and Washington, D.C., say they want to set up their own markets. .

Eight others have indicated they want to pursue a state-federal partnership. Six remain undecided.

Exchanges will be the main way consumers experience the new .

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