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Idaho Health Insurance Debate

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By Andrew Reed

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) The Idaho health insurance exchange is a big discussion at the state capitol.

Governor Butch Otter wants the gem state to keep as much control as possible and wants what's best for Idahoans.

The health insurance exchange is a mandate through the Affordable Care Act, an idea Governor Otter isn't pleased about.

"I disagree with it, I still disagree with it. We didn't win the election with our champions that was going to give us all our waivers. I have decided to ask the legislatures to go forward with a state base insurance exchange. One that is tailored to what Idaho needs, not what the federal government thinks we need” said Governor Butch Otter.

The bill would create a 16-person board that would oversee the exchange.

The idea of the bill is to make it self-sufficient, allowing Idahoans to voluntarily buy and sell insurance.

"Idaho enjoys some of the cheapest healthcare insurance rates in the nation and we don't want to be pooled with other states were their costs are much higher than ours. I think we need to try to protect that” said Speaker Scott Bedke.

Magic Valley Insurance agrees with the bill.

"We support Governor Otter's position that Idaho should have a state base exchange. How that affects the insurance agent is a good question because it's going to make us a lot busier. This is such a confusing and overwhelming bill, people just need to know where to go for help” said Owner David Wilcox, Magic Valley Insurance.

An exchange government officials want Idahoans to be educated on... as they formulate the bill and move forward.

Officials said, the exchange would cost 10-million dollars annually to operate.


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