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Eye On Boise

Senate panel backs Otter on insurance exchange

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter’s controversial state health insurance exchange legislation won near-unanimous support from a Senate committee Thursday after two days of hearings, a key victory for the GOP governor; you can read my full story here at          

Opponents wearing swatches of bright pink tape filled the Capitol Auditorium for the second day of hearings on Thursday, with many saying they opposed both a state exchange and a federal exchange – the alternative if the state doesn’t set up its own. Tom Munds of Caldwell told the senators, “The simple fact that Idaho would even consider a monster like this scares me. If the people truly prefer a form of government foreign to our Constitution, then they do so at their own ignorance.”

But the senators said they couldn’t choose no exchange at all. “I despise Obamacare, and that’s actually an understatement,” said Sen. Todd Lakey, R-Nampa. “But I have to look at … the reality of the way it stands now. I don’t believe that if we don’t do a state exchange, that the federal government will not be able to make it happen. … The reality we’re facing is either the federal government exchange, which I think is the worst option, or the state exchange.”

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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