A key Illinois lawmaker says it still appears the state will partner with the federal government on a health insurance exchange. But Democratic Representative Frank Mautino of Spring Valley says the goal is to make it a one-year partnership. Under the nation's health-care law, states can either run their own exchange, or get assistance from Washington. The exchanges are required to be up and running by 2014.
Mautino has played a key role in the process and says Illinois' plans for a state-run model were largely delayed because of the Supreme Court ruling on Obama care. With necessary paperwork due next month, Mautino says there's no time to get approval from the legislature. But he says there's still a desire for Illinois to have its own system by 2015. "Most of the lawyers groups, advocacy groups, and consumer rights groups would feel more comfortable if the state of Illinois had its own exchange as opposed to being at the whim of the federal government and have a little more control over those plans." - Rep. Frank Mautino Governor Pat Quinn's office has offered a similar prediction on a timeline for the exchange. Quinn also wants to expand Medicaid under the healthcare law. But Republican lawmakers say they'll put up a strong fight against that proposal.