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Eye On Boise

‘Health Freedom Act’ amended

Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, asks the House to amend his
Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, asks the House to amend his "Idaho Health Freedom Act" to take out a conflict between the bill and an existing state requirement for state college students to purchase health insurance. The bill seeks to ban enforcement of federal health care reforms in Idaho, including any requirements for people to purchase health insurance. The amendment was approved unanimously on Thursday, freeing the House to consider the amended bill when it comes back up on its calendar. (Betsy Russell)

HB 391, the “Idaho Health Freedom Act,” has been amended by unanimous vote of the House. Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, said the problem is that the bill, as written, would outlaw a requirement imposed by the state Board of Education through state regulations, and approved by lawmakers back in 2002: Requiring all state college students to have health insurance. That move was part of a series of money-saving reforms the state made to its Medicaid program. Clark said it wasn't his intent to reverse that requirement. "This amendment makes a distinction between the federal and the state government," Clark told the House. "This solves the problem."

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, and requiring the state Attorney General to fight such requirements in court. The amended bill now can be considered by the full House, when it comes back up on the calendar.



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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