Final passage of legislation to build a state-based health insurance exchange in Idaho is headed to Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s desk for his signature.
An opponent of the Affordable Care Act, Otter pushed hard for a state exchange rather than defaulting to a federally built and operated exchange, but waited until after the November elections to make a final decision on which way to go, according to StateImpact Idaho, a joint news service of local media and National Public Radio.
Otter, a Republican in the staunchly conservative state, went against many lawmakers from his own party in pushing for the exchange. On the gubernatorial Web site, he posted pages urging residents to call legislators and ask them to support the exchange. The site lists the top five reasons for a state-run exchange: “It is the best choice for Idaho; It keeps the feds at bay; The higher cost of a federal exchange; State implementation is consistent with our state’s rights stance; and It’s the law.”
As of March 21, 2013, 17 states and the District of Columbia have declared they will build their own exchanges, seven are planning for a partnership exchange with the federal government and 26 have defaulted to a federally build and operated exchange, according to Kaiser Family Foundation. A national map and a chart of each state decision are available here.
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