AUGUSTA — In a straight party-line vote, the Maine House voted 76-72 today to approve a bill that would overhaul Maine’s health insurance system, despite critics’ objections that GOP leaders were moving too quickly.

The bill, LD 1333, is designed to ease state regulations and open the health insurance market to more competition.

Republican supporters say the bill would make insurance available to more Mainers and help businesses.

Opponents claim the bill was rushed out of committee before most lawmakers had time to read it, and say it would not deliver on promises to lower insurance rates.

The bill is expected to come before the Senate for a preliminary vote on Tuesday. The House is also expected to take up the bill again on Tuesday. The bill will then face further votes in the House and Senate.

11:18 a.m.

AUGUSTA — More than 70 demonstrators this morning shouted “Read the bill!” and “Please vote no!” as lawmakers entered the House chamber. House Republicans are poised to give preliminary approval today to a bill that would overhaul Maine’s health insurance system, despite critics’ objections that GOP leaders are moving too quickly.

LD 1333 would strip away state regulations that have been put in place over the past two decades and open the individual and small-group insurance market to more competition.

Critics say the bill is moving too fast, leaving them little time to understand its potential impact or even get feedback from their members.