The clock is ticking for Minnesota to develop its own health insurance exchange.
Lawmakers failed to pass legislation creating an exchange last session and it is unclear whether there will be more support for one when the Legislature convenes Jan. 24.
Under the federal health care law, states must show they can operate an exchange in about a year. For those that don't, the feds will impose a one-size-fits-all exchange.
Last session, Rep. Steve Gottwalt, R-St. Cloud, introduced legislation that failed to pass. Gottwalt, who chairs the House Health and Human Services Reform committee is cautiously optimistic it will pass in the coming session.
"I think there's always a chance. I've certainly been a champion of that and believing that it's the right thing for Minnesota to do so I live in hope."
The exchanges are a keystone of the federal health care overhaul and will allow individuals and small groups to comparison shop for health insurance online.