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Arkansas Senate votes to put state exchange on hold as court weighs case on subsidies

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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — The Arkansas Senate has voted to put the state's plans to set up its own insurance exchange under the federal health law on hold while the nation's highest court weighs a lawsuit over the overhaul.

The measure was approved by the Senate on a 25-0 vote Wednesday, the same day the U.S. Supreme Court was hearing arguments in a lawsuit centering on the federal subsidies granted by the overhaul. Opponents of the law say that only residents of states that set up their own insurance markets can get subsidies to help pay their premiums.

The Senate bill would require the Legislature to vote on whether to set up a state exchange if justices side with that argument. Arkansas is currently operating its exchange as a partnership with the federal government.

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