The House Health & Welfare Committee has voted 10-1 in favor of HB 248, the state health insurance exchange bill. Only Rep. John Vander Woude, R-Nampa, opposed it.
Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley, chairman of the committee, compared the state exchange vs. federal exchange issue to his experience as a Fish & Game commissioner dealing with wolves. “I will never acquiesce, either directly or by default, acquiescing to have the federal government walk into the state of Idaho and manage a sector of Idaho’s economy. I think that’s wrong, I don’t support that, and in my opinion that’s exactly what it would be,” he said of the prospect of a federal exchange – which Idaho would get if it doesn’t start its own state-run health insurance exchange. “We would be, by default, acquiescing to a role of the federal government of doing that.”
The bill now moves to the full House.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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