David Irwin, director of communications for AARP Idaho, told lawmakers on the health care task force that Idaho could face “unintended consequences” if it decides to opt out of federal health care reform. “A move to opt out could reduce or cut federal relief for our state’s increasing number of uninsured,” he said, noting that a recent Kaiser Family Foundation study showed that nearly 88 percent of Idaho’s 221,000 uninsured residents have jobs, and 75 percent have full-time jobs. “The reality is many don’t have health care because it costs too much,” he said.
“Opting out could vastly reduce Idaho’s bargaining power for better health care prices, as opposed to being part of a national purchasing pool that can negotiate lower prices,” Irwin told lawmakers.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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