A look at the health care law in Northwest states

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by Associated Press

KING5.com

Posted on June 27, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 10:44 AM

Here is a look at where Northwest states stand on implementing President Barack Obama's federal health care overhaul, which the Supreme Court ruled Thursday can go forward with its aim of covering more than 30 million uninsured Americans.

WASHINGTON

NUMBER OF UNINSURED: 927,000 state residents are uninsured, or about 13.8 percent

WHERE THE STATE STANDS: Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna signed on to the health care lawsuit against the wishes of the state's Democratic governor and majority Democrats, but Washington state moved ahead this past legislative session with implementing its own health insurance exchange.

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OREGON

NUMBER OF UNINSURED: 612,000 state residents are uninsured, or about 16 percent.

WHERE THE STATE STANDS: Oregon is working aggressively to implement the health care law and is farther along than most other states. The federal government has committed more than $60 million in grants to develop a health insurance exchange that could be duplicated in other states.
allenging the health care law, but lost in federal appeals court.

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IDAHO

NUMBER OF UNINSURED: 294,000 state residents are uninsured, or about 19 percent.

WHERE THE STATE STANDS: Idaho has not implemented health insurance exchanges, over objections from insurers including Blue Cross of Idaho. The GOP-controlled Idaho Legislature declined to accept federal grants for the project and also balked at putting together a scaled-down state-funded version while awaiting the Supreme Court's decision.

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MONTANA

NUMBER OF UNINSURED: 176,000 state residents are uninsured, or about 18.1 percent.

WHERE THE STATE STANDS: Republican lawmakers in Montana who controlled the Legislature rejected any efforts to establish a health insurance exchange.

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ALASKA

NUMBER OF UNINSURED: 125,000 state residents are uninsured, or about 18 percent.

WHERE THE STATE STANDS: Alaska, which is among the states that sued over the constitutionality of the federal health care law, has yet to implement a health care exchange. The health department has hired a consultant to help design one, and that report is expected soon.

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