Bringing the Economy Home

Idaho House Panel Supports New Health Exchange Bill

Idaho’s latest proposal to create a state-based health insurance exchange has been approved by a House committee, and now heads to debate in the full chamber.

The Times-News reports the House Health and Welfare Committee approved the new exchange bill 10-1 after three hours of public testimony.

Thursday’s vote came after three hours of testimony, which started at 7 a.m. Lobbyists and members of the public testified, with more lobbyists testifying in favor of the exchange and more members of the public testifying against.

After testimony, committee members explained their votes. House Majority Caucus Chairman John Vander Woude, R-Nampa, said the bill is a bad move for Idaho and doesn’t have enough legislative oversight. – Times-News

The Spokesman-Review’s Eye on Boise blogger Betsy Russell reports committee members had a difficult time deciding whether to support the new exchange legislation.

Rep. Christy Perry, R-Nampa, said, “Every state in the union is going to have an exchange. … It’s just a matter of who’s actually going to operate it.” She said, “Idaho is actually taking a stand and protecting its citizens rather than just handing everything over to the federal government.” – Eye on Boise

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter supports the creation of a state-based exchange. The original proposal to build the online insurance marketplace was developed in his office. You can read the latest version of the bill here.


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