ATLANTA (AP) — Legislation that would allow Georgians to purchase insurance across state lines has cleared the Senate.

Supporters contend the bill would lower insurance costs by introducing more competition. Opponents say it would allow for watered-down policies that don't require coverage for crucial procedures that Georgia policies mandate.

The Senate approved the bill 37-17 on Tuesday after more than two hours of debate on 20 amendments. Republicans have fought to pass the bill for years, usually over the opposition of women legislators, who routinely express concern that such a measure would dial back hard-fought gains from Georgia insurance carriers.

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