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Eye On Boise

‘Health Freedom Act’ needs amendment

The Idaho House agrees, by unanimous consent, to send the
The Idaho House agrees, by unanimous consent, to send the "Idaho Health Freedom Act" to its amending order on Monday. The bill, which seeks to fight federal health care reform, as written would inadvertently invalidate a 2002 law requiring Idaho state college students to purchase health insurance. That law was passed as part of money-saving Medicaid reforms. (Betsy Russell)

HB 391, the "Idaho Health Freedom Act," has just been moved to general orders for amendment by unanimous consent of the House. Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, said the problem is that the bill, as written, would outlaw a requirement lawmakers enacted into state regulations back in 2002: Requring all state college students to have health insurance. HB 391 seeks to set the state up for a lawsuit against federal health care reform legislation by banning the enforcement of any requirement for people to purchase health insurance. Clark said he's drafted an amendment to clarify that HB 391 doesn't overturn the student requirement, "so that'll clear that obstacle," he said.

The bill had been up for third reading today, which meant it was time for a full House debate and vote. Now, that's been put off; instead, the bill will come up later in the week when the House goes to its amending order. At that order, any lawmaker can offer an amendment to the measure.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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