OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gov. Mary Fallin defended her efforts to create a health insurance exchange for uninsured Oklahoma residents on Monday, explaining if the state does not have an exchange in place by 2013 the federal government will step in and create its own.

Fallin discussed her support for legislation that would help create the insurance information exchange just four days after about a dozen demonstrators carrying signs and American flags protested her appearance before the Tulsa Health Underwriters Association following her decision to accept a $54 million federal grant to implement it. Opponents say creating an insurance exchange is a step toward implementing the federal health care overhaul law.

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