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Idaho Legislators May Have Last Say in Insurance Exchange

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Republican legislative leaders say Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s decision next week on what kind of insurance exchange to adopt will be at the mercy of lawmakers who return to Boise on Jan. 7 for the 2013 session.

Otter has until Friday to tell the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services if Idaho will create its own online marketplace for insurance products — or let the federal government do it. New House Speaker Scott Bedke said Otter’s decision will be subject to debate — and potential rejection — by representatives who so far have shunned a state-based exchange.

Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill suggested Otter’s main concern should be not limiting lawmakers’ room to maneuver, given they’ll likely be making the final decision. Idaho insurers want a state-based exchange.

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