Bringing the Economy Home

Idaho Gov. Otter Delays Health Insurance Exchange Decision

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Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter

Governor C.L. “Butch” said in a news release this morning he’ll wait to consult with Idaho Legislative leaders before deciding if the state will create its own health insurance exchange.

Late yesterday afternoon, the  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said it would give states until Dec. 14 to decide if they’ll create a state-based exchange, a federal exchange, or a partnership model.

Here’s the governor’s press release:

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter said today that he will consult with legislative leaders and be ready by the new December 14 deadline for submitting a decision on whether Idaho will build its own health insurance exchange or opt into the federal system being developed under Obamacare.

Governor Otter said he was grateful for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius setting back the deadline, which had been today. Sebelius set the new deadline late Thursday after the Republican Governors Association (RGA) and others called on the White House for a delay. December 14 also is the deadline for states that opt to build their own exchange to submit plans for meeting federal mandates on its design and operation.

“I have my working group’s recommendation, and I have been listening carefully to stakeholders and citizens about this important choice. This extension gives us more time to get answers from HHS about what the federal requirements will be,” said Governor Otter, who consulted with a number of his colleagues from other states at the RGA conference in Las Vegas this week. “I don’t want us buying a pig in a poke, so with this extension I’m hoping we’ll get answers to the questions and concerns we’re hearing from legislators and the public.”

Under Obamacare – or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – every state must offer citizens an online portal for comparing and purchasing health insurance policies that meet federal requirements. States have balked at moving forward with plans, first until after the U.S. Supreme Court weighed the law’s constitutionality and then until after the November 6 election determined the likelihood of Obamacare remaining on the books.


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