There's a crowd of about 50 in the audience for today's legislative Health Care Task Force meeting, which runs all day in room EW 42 of the state capitol. There's particularly high interest, as the state ponders its next steps in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the national health care reform law. “This meeting, just to set everybody's mind at ease, is not intended for us to make a decision certainly at this point in time,” Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, co-chairman of the task force, said as the meeting opened. “We're gathering information. We're certainly not trying to get out in front of the governor's select committee.” He noted that a number of lawmakers on the task force serve on the governor's two panels exploring issues surrounding a health insurance exchange and possible Medicaid expansion. “We applaud the governor in his efforts to take a thoughtful approach to the decisions that Idaho must make, and look forward to working with them and trying to determine what is the best for Idaho citizens.”
First up for the joint task force today is a report from Joy Wilson of the National Conference of State Legislatures, by phone, offering an analysis of the Supreme Court decision and its implications for states.