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Vermont legislators working on health care plan

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- A Vermont House committee Is zeroing in on a plan to spend about $12 million on stepped up public health education and access to health care for low- and moderate-income Vermonters.

The money would come from the $24.3 million expected to be raised from a new penny-per-ounce tax committee members want to levy on sugar-sweetened beverages.

The balance of that money would allow the state to stop collecting an annual fee of about $500 per employee for employers who don't provide health insurance for their workers.

Lawmakers are working on the changes as the state prepares to launch the new health care marketplace, or exchange, under the federal affordable care act