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Posts tagged: health insurance exchange

Idaho must rely on feds’ site

The Idaho Legislature will not get its wish for a health insurance exchange website built by and for Idahoans. Not in the first year, anyway.

The Legislature’s decision simply came too late.

Federal law requires creation of a marketplace for health insurance coverage by Oct. 1 for every state. If states don’t do it, the law says, the federal government will.

But it takes time to develop a website with the security features required to accept and verify the confidential information people must enter when signing up for federally subsidized health coverage. Social Security numbers, for instance. Adjusted gross income from the most recent tax return. Names and ages of family members. Account numbers to be used in paying for the insurance. John Webster, SR

On July 26, shortly after getting its board appointed and hiring a few staff members, Idaho’s brand-new exchange awarded a contract for the development of its website. The winning contractor? Public Consulting Group, based in Boston.

What's wrong with this picture?

Pro-Lifers Oppose Health Exchange

Idaho Chooses Life (ICL), the largest pro-life group in the Gem State, has formally declared its opposition to lawmakers giving the green light to building a state-based health insurance exchange. In a statement released to IdahoReporter.com Tuesday, ICL president David Ripley says the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the law through which exchanges are derived, is ripe with questionable policies. “ObamaCare is loaded with subsidies for the abortion industry, which is why Planned Parenthood is pushing so hard for its enactment,” Ripley said.  “We are very worried about the move to voluntarily assist in the federal take-over of health care in Idaho.  It jeopardizes conscience rights of employers, contains massive subsidies for the abortion industry and will lead to rationed care for the elderly and disabled”/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Reaction?

Legislative D’s Seek Leverage

Aiming to leverage their limited numbers to win hearings on Democratic priorities, House Minority Leader John Rusche suggested Tuesday that his most-liberal members could vote with the most-conservative Republicans against creating a state-run health insurance exchange. Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter wants to use $20.3 million in federal funding to establish an Idaho exchange, the online marketplace foreseen by the 2010 federal health care overhaul to help uninsured individuals and small businesses compare and buy coverage. But to do it, Otter needs at least 36 votes in the 70-member House. With many of the 57 GOP members, especially arch conservatives, likely to reject using federal money on philosophical grounds, Rusche, D-Lewiston, said his 13-member caucus could play a crucial role/John Miller, AP. More here.

Question: What do you make of the strategy outlined above of liberal Democrats joining hard line Republicans to block a state-run health insurance exchange?

Panel OKs O-Care Exchange 11-1

The Legislature's Health Care Task Force has voted 11-1 to endorse the draft legislation for an Idaho health insurance exchange, and to “send it to a germane committee to let them determine whether it's best for the state or not,” in the words of Sen. Joyce Broadsword, R-Sagle, who made the motion. The sole “no” vote came from House Health & Welfare Chairwoman Janice McGeachin, R-Idaho Falls. “I am not opposed to the idea of setting up an exchange in our state, but I do have some concerns with this legislation the way it's drafted,” McGeachin said/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

More coverage from Eye On Boise:

Question: What would Vito say?

Hoffman: Nothing Mature RE: O-Care

The word of the day is “maturity.” As in: “Politicians demonstrate maturity when they put aside their fear about Obamacare and implement the law.” Maturity. Gov. Butch Otter told reporters a few days ago that Idaho must move forward with the creation of a state health insurance exchange, as required by Obamacare, lest the federal government cut its contribution to the state’s Medicaid program. “We’re facing a $300 million expense” if the state doesn’t create a health insurance exchange, Otter warned. “We’re either going to have to raise taxes, which I see no appetite for that, or we’re going to have to cut from someplace else.” Otter said it’s one more reason the state should move ahead with the insurance exchange. I consider Butch Otter a friend. We have a common mentor, the late Ralph Smeed. I think Butch’s heart is in the right place. But by golly, I don’t buy the $300 million claim/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Question: Do you hold a “mature” position on the controversial health insurance exchange?

NI R’s Oppose ‘Obamacare’ Exchange

A group of north Idaho political and business leaders agreed unanimously Wednesday that Idaho should avoid creating a state health insurance exchange and should instead wait for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on the Obamacare lawsuit of which Idaho is a plaintiff. The leaders unanimously backed a resolution that says, in part, that “it is not in the best interest of the state for any state official to participate in planning or establishing health insurance exchanges as provided for in the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” and that Congress should “defund planning grants to the states for the establishment of PPACA health insurance exchanges by the states.” The resolution is signed by members of the major political groups in north Idaho including Tea Party, Pachyderm clubs, Reagan Republicans, United Conservatives of North Idaho, North Idaho Political Action Committee, Kootenai County Republicans and Kootenai County Republican Women/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Question: Do you agree with the North Idaho Republican groups re: the health care exchange?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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