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Federal reform ban heads to Otter

BOISE – Idaho lawmakers have sent Gov. Butch Otter legislation to ban the enforcement in Idaho of any federal requirement that all individuals and businesses purchase health insurance, and to require the state’s attorney general to go to court to fight any such requirement.

House Bill 391a passed the Senate late Tuesday on a 24-10 vote, with three Republicans joining all seven of the Senate’s Democrats in opposing it; it earlier passed the House on a straight party-line vote.

Sen. Monty Pearce, R-New Plymouth, told the Senate, “This is legislation that shows that we’re really Americans.”

Sen. Jim Hammond, R-Post Falls, said, “For me this legislation is more than just what’s provided in the bill itself. For me this legislation is an opportunity to tell the federal government to back off.”

The bill estimates the court fight will cost the state $100,000.

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