11:52am

Fri July 20, 2012
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Tenn. Political Heavyweight Pushes Health Care Exchanges

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Former Senate Majority Leader and Tennessee heart surgeon Bill Frist is calling on states to get going on their health insurance exchanges.

The exchanges are part of the Affordable Care Act and some Republican governors who oppose the law are refusing to set them up.

The Tennessee Republican writes in an opinion piece for The Week magazine that the idea for state exchanges originated with the GOP. He calls them innovative and market-driven.

State Democratic Party spokesman Brandon Puttbrese says Tennessee Democrats agree with Dr. Frist that it’s time to move on.

“I think that this just shows that people on both sides of the aisle are seeing the importance of expanding affordable health care coverage to more than 200,000 Tennesseans.”

Republican Governor Bill Haslam is opposed to the Affordable Care Act, but recently told reporters his administration is moving ahead with the design of the internet based state insurance exchange.