Commerce Chairman Ed Butler, the bill's sponsor, said his intention was simply to start the discussion the Republican-passed law squelched.
"It doesn't mandate it. It doesn't say we should go in that direction," said Butler, D-Harts Location.
Republican committee members asked why the state would want to operate an exchange if it cost taxpayers potentially millions of dollars to do so.
"All I'm saying is there might be a benefit. If it costs more, it probably would not make sense," Butler responded.