Heineman Opts for State-Run Exchange

LINCOLN  (AP) - Gov. Dave Heineman has chosen to enroll Nebraska in a federally run health exchange program, saying a state-based option is too expensive and inflexible. The Republican governor announced Thursday that he had rejected the state-based exchange as an option, even though it was touted by some lawmakers and health care advocates as the best option. The exchanges serve as a marketplace where individuals and small businesses can comparison shop for insurance. They're a key part of President Barack Obama's health care law, which Heineman opposes. Heineman says he was initially leaning toward a state-run exchange, but a budget review showed that a federal exchange was cheaper for state taxpayers in Nebraska. Heineman says the state-run option was also full of federal mandates, and Nebraska would have little control.