DENVER (AP) — Colorado lawmakers moved forward Thursday with an $18 million federal grant application to set up an insurance marketplace required under the new health care law.

Lawmakers voted 9-1 to apply for the grant on an issue that divides Democrats who advocate for the new health care law and Republicans who want to see it repealed.

The Colorado Health Benefit Exchange creates a virtual marketplace to allow individuals and groups the ability to purchase health insurance at discounts that those in larger risk pools have. State lawmakers approved the insurance exchange earlier this year with bipartisan support, but Republicans were torn on the issue and have been criticized by constituents who see the legislation as an affirmation of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

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