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Posts tagged: Sports

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.

March Madness rounds bring dollars to region

The Spokane Regional Sports Commission says last week’s 1st and 2nd round NCAA basketball championships had an economic impact on the region of about $4.6 million. 

About 12,000 of the 32,000 tickets sold were to out-of-town fans who traveled here to see the games, the commission said in a news release. Those fans spent an average of $294 a day, and generated  3,500 hotel room nights.

Last time the NCAA men’s basketball 1st and 2nd rounds were held in Spokane — 2007 — they had an estimated economic impact of $3.7 million. The higher take this time is because Spokane landed stronger “traveling” teams, meaning their fans are more willing to fly across the country to support them, the commission said.

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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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