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DENVER (AP) — What started as a bipartisan attempt to lower health insurance premiums turned into a heated debate over the new health care law Monday, when the Democratic Senate gave preliminary approval to setting up a new insurance exchange over GOP objections that the move means Colorado is caving to federal health demands.

The bill sets up a Colorado health insurance exchange, which could allow individuals and small businesses to pool together for lower health insurance rates. The federal health care law requires states to set up health insurance exchanges by 2013, or the federal government will set up exchanges for them.

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