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Consumer groups eye Blue Cross health market role

RALEIGH — A North Carolina legislative panel considers a proposal that could give the state’s largest health insurer a permanent seat on the body that will run the marketplace designed to offer affordable coverage to individuals and small businesses,

The House Health and Human Services Committee toay considers whether compromise is possible on legislation that creates a health benefit exchange, which would help those who now have the hardest time finding affordable private health insurance.

Consumer advocates complain that a Republican-written bill would give a permanent seat on the exchange’s management board to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. Consumer groups say it’s a conflict of interest for the company to oversee how the new competitive marketplace takes shape.

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