Ore. House advances insurance exchange to governor

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- The Oregon Legislature has voted to create a health insurance exchange to connect individuals and small businesses with more affordable health care.

The House passed the measure on Tuesday, sending it to Gov. John Kitzhaber who says he will sign it.

An insurance exchange is designed to help boost the buying power of individuals and small businesses, which often face health care costs that are significantly higher than those who get coverage through large employers. The exchange also would determine whether people qualify for federal subsidies under the health care overhaul signed last year by President Barack Obama.

Oregon was one of a handful of states to be selected for grants to pay for the computer infrastructure behind an exchange.