Gov. Otter and Lt. Gov. Little talk healthcare, education, district judge appointments

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - KMVT sat down with Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Lt. Gov. Brad Little about their recently signed executive order on their healthcare plan along with other issues.

"It's going to offer more products. It's going to enhance the people of Idaho's ability to get affordable and accessible insurance," Otter said.

The order plans to build off the state's existing plan where families and small businesses can compare and purchase health insurance on the federal level.

"The idea, of course, is to increase the pool of people that are in the insurance, that buy an insurance product, so that that risk is then spread across the pool, not only just to people that are going to use on an ongoing basis, the insurance themselves," he continued, "but the healthy folks as well as. The folks that are going to be more... are going to be utilizing the insurance more."

Otter said they believe they are solving the problems that Obamacare caused.

"Idaho was one of the cheapest places prior to Obamacare. Idaho was one of the cheapest places, states in the nation where you could buy insurance, affordable insurance, and almost everybody had insurance," he said.

Otter said most policies "went up 300 to 400 percent in some cases" and "priced people out of the insurance market."

"We'd like to get back to the number two nation, number one or number two spot in the nation, where you can buy insurance policies worth the money," he said.

Lt. Gov. Brad Little says the healthcare plan will also help with the Idaho job market.

"By doing this executive order and bringing down the cost of healthcare, means that people are going to want to stay here and people that left are going to want to come back," Little said.

As for trying to grow local businesses, he says education also contributes to the development.

"Our challenge is going to continue to be workforce development and every education portal that we can establish to get skilled people, to get people that certainly can add to the excitement and to add to the growth in our economy is what education is all about," he continued. "Workforce development is all about education, and so we concentrated on that heavily, especially in the last few years."

Now that District Judge Randy Stoker passed away, two district judge seats are open in Twin Falls County and Otter said he talked to the judicial council about expediting the system.

"We hope that the judicial council will allow us to move forward and make the appointment as soon as possible," he said.

Otter said he is not running again as "12 years is enough."

"There are some other things I want to do and I think, in my estimation, the lieutenant governor is ready to be governor and that's why I'm supporting him," he said of Little.

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