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Idaho Democrats Need More Convincing on Insurance Exchange

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Democrats say Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter must convince more than just conservative Republicans that a state-based, nonprofit insurance exchange is better for Idaho than a federally-run exchange. He’s got to win their votes, too. That’s according to Sen. Branden Durst of Boise. Durst said Tuesday if the governor is assuming he’s got guaranteed support from the minority caucus, he’d be wise to reconsider.

Otter has proposed Idaho create its own exchange, foreseen by President Barack Obama as an online marketplace for individuals and businesses to purchase insurance. And he’s gotten federal approval for an initial blueprint of how the exchange would work. But he left the final decision up to the Legislature. Deadlines are looming. For instance, Idaho likely must hire a vendor to start building its exchange by mid-February.

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