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      Haley to turn down federal health care funding

      Gov. Nikki Haley says she will not apply for millions in federal funds to help set up a health insurance exchange in South Carolina. / FILE

      COLUMBIA (WACH, AP) -- Gov. Nikki Haley says she will not apply for millions in federal funds to help set up a health insurance exchange in South Carolina.

      The State newspaper reported Thursday that Haley doesn't think health insurance exchanges are the best approach for South Carolina.

      The exchanges are the centerpiece of the federal reform. The exchanges are designed to let uninsured people compare policies from private companies and buy the one that is best for each individual's needs.

      Gubernatorial spokesman Rob Godfrey says Haley opposes the federal law, saying South Carolina doesn't want the plan and cannot afford it.

      It TMs an idea that was started by Governor Romney in Massachusetts. It TMs a republican idea. It TMs really disappointing that Governor Haley is choosing to deny the people of South Carolina these dollars, says Phil Bailey, Caucus Director Senate Democrats.

      Read more SC chamber holding meetings on new health care law South Carolina health care overhaul panel to meet States seeking to ban mandatory health insurance

      Orangeburg Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter says the state could provide health coverage if it would move ahead with the federal plan. She sponsored a bill this year to set up a health exchange. You can read the text of that bill here .

      Health insurance is of course important but it TMs just a matter of deciding whether its more important then perhaps some other things like education, says Jason Shepard, Columbia resident.

      You can find out more about health care coverage under the federal health care law at HealthCare.gov .

      Do you agree with Haley's decision not to apply for millions in federal health care funds? Vote in our poll and leave a comment to weigh in with your thoughts.

      (The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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