St. Paul, MN ( - A one stop shop for affordable insurance is gaining momentum in Minnesota. U-S Senator Al Franken and Senate DFL leaders met Friday at the state capitol to discuss the healthcare exchange. The program, established under the federal affordable healthcare act, is a partnership between the federal government and the state of Minnesota. Sen.Tony Lourey (DFL - Kerrick) says roughly 300,000 currently uninsured Minnesotans will gain coverage through the exchange by 2016. "We are ready to be the nation's shining example of what real embracing of health care reform broadly can mean for the people of Minnesota, we are going to need that strong federal state partnership," Sen. Lourey said. Minnesota must pass the legislation by March 31 to avoid having a federally-run health exchange imposed on the state. No word yet on how much such a program will cost the state. Kevin Jacobsen Bio - Facebook - Twitter - E-Mail