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Eye On Boise

Idaho health insurance move prompts war of words between Otter, Murray, Wyden, Crapo…

Washington Sen. Patty Murray on Thursday criticized Idaho’s decision to allow the sale of health insurance plans that don’t comply with Obamacare rules as “illegal Idaho junk plans,” prompting Idaho Gov. Butch Otter to retort that Washington has sanctuary cities and recreational marijuana – also bucking federal rules. “Guess what: I think it’s a little bit hypocritical,” Otter declared; you can read my full story here at “It’s interesting where a lot of those ‘you have to obey the law of the land’ requests are coming from.”

Otter said Idaho is trying to “be creative, be dynamic.”

Otter’s comments to the Idaho Press Club came as both Murray and Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden sharply criticized the Otter Administration’s health insurance move; both senators signed a Jan. 31 letter to federal officials requesting proof that Idaho’s move is legal. Meanwhile, Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo defended Idaho’s move, saying, “I understand what the law is. As I evaluate this, I don’t see a violation at all. Idaho is still providing Obamacare-compliant plans for anyone who wants to purchase them, but they’re allowing others to have options.”

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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