Long Debate Ends With Vote for State Based Insurance Exchange
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — After seven hours of debate, representatives voted 41-29 for a state-based, nonprofit insurance exchange, a provision of President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care overhaul that’s inflamed the passions of Idaho lawmakers.
At stake Wednesday was Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s plan to use some $30 million in federal funding to build Idaho’s insurance exchange. About 25 GOP governors have opted to shun a state exchange and default to a federal version. But Otter’s allies won the House vote after arguing Idaho will exert the most control if it builds its own marketplace to sell insurance to individuals and small businesses.
The decision is backed by Idaho insurers. Foes favored rejecting Otter’s plan, on grounds it makes Idaho the “sock puppet” of the federal government. The bill now goes to the Senate.