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Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford speaks to members of the House Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor about health insurance exchanges at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas’ top insurance official said Monday he hopes to win legislative approval next year to begin implementing a key part of the federal health care overhaul.

Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford said he plans to ask the state Legislature to give him the authority to set up its state health insurance exchange when it convenes for its fiscal session next year. The state Insurance Department has been planning for the exchange using a $1 million grant, but legislation authorizing its setup stalled in the Legislature earlier this year over objections to the federal health care law.

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