December 31, 2009 in Idaho

Gov. Otter threatens suit over health care reform

Associated Press

BOISE – Idaho Gov. Butch Otter said he may sue to stop federal health care reform, calling U.S. House and Senate bills unconstitutional and too costly.

Otter sent letters Wednesday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, telling them he’s considering legal action to keep the federal government from imposing “a crushing unfunded mandate” on state and local governments.

He questioned Congress’ constitutional power to mandate health care coverage and contended reforms will cost taxpayers – and eventually their kids – too much.

Otter also objected to Medicaid funding deals that benefit Nebraska and Louisiana that U.S. Senate Democrats struck before the Christmas Eve vote to help win support from those states’ lawmakers.

Thirteen Republican attorneys general, including Idaho’s Lawrence Wasden, said separately they also object to the deal with Nebraska, already called the “Cornhusker Kickback,” and threatened a court fight if it isn’t stripped from reforms.

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