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Posts tagged: idaho legislature

Idaho likely to spurn federal cash for exchange

BOISE — With the 2012 session half over, opposition from the Legislature’s conservatives has all but ended Gov. Butch Otter’s plan for using a $20.3 million federal grant for a state-run insurance exchange required by Congress’ health care overhaul.

Discussions between legislators, Otter and the insurance industry have shifted toward a state-run exchange created without federal money, but that’s sufficient to reassure U.S. Department of Health and Human Services officials Idaho isn’t ignoring them, The Associated Press reports.

This approach walks a thin line between practical and political considerations: Doing enough to keep Washington, D.C., bureaucrats from imposing a federal exchange on Idaho, while letting “Obamacare”-loathing legislators tell constituents they didn’t bend to the hated federal government.

Democrats fear spurning the federal cash is tantamount to Idaho cutting off its nose to spite its face.

Southwest trying to be more responsive over flights from Boise to Spokane

Southwest Airlines is looking to fix its relationships with about 15 North Idaho state legislators.

A story in Wednesday's Spokesman-Review noted the 15 are irked by a change in Southwest's flights between Boise and Spokane. All 15 were using a 2:35 p.m. afternoon flight on Fridays to get back to North Idaho for the weekend.

Southwest eliminated that flight a week ago. In order not to have to wait until the 9 p.m. flight for Spokane, Idaho's legislative leaders will convene Friday sessions an hour earlier to let the group get out in time to catch a 1 p.m. flight home.

Rep. Frank Henderson, R-Post Falls, was burned enough to write a note to the Southwest CEO. In the story Wednesday, Henderson said he got a canned reply.

Southwest Spokeswoman Michelle Agnew sent us a message today saying the airline is going to be more repsonsive. “I was able to confirm our Customer Relations Team did respond with a letter to Rep. Henderson on Feb. 11. We have a customer relations rep following up with Rep. Henderson's office today.”

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John Stucke John Stucke is a deputy city editor who helps build local news coverage and writes about health care, bankruptcy and rural affairs.

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