The Idaho Association of Commerce & Industry, a lobbying group that represents the state's biggest businesses, has sent a letter to Gov. Butch Otter praising his decision to apply for federal grant funds to start an Idaho health insurance exchange, and laying out its ideas on how an exchange should work. In the letter, IACI President Alex LaBeau said the group's support for seeking the grant funds is “based on two very practical reasons: (1) to protect Idaho's citizens from higher taxes, and (2) to safeguard Idaho's ability to control its own destiny when developing an exchange, which we believe is a conceptually sound policy idea.”
He added, “Your wise decision gives Idaho control of its own destiny. By not requesting the grant money, Idaho would have lost its ability to work in the best interests of small business and individuals. The result of the loss of control would have dictated that Idaho be forced to turn over precious resources to the federal government, in the form of potentially higher taxes and fees, which would put an already delicate economy further in jeopardy.” You can read the full letter and proposal here.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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