Lobbying Efforts Heat Up As Idaho’s Health Insurance Exchange Hearing Is Scheduled

By Emilie Ritter Saunders

Back in December, Governor Butch Otter decided Idaho should create its own health insurance exchange – an online marketplace to buy insurance.  Now, he needs support from the Legislature.

Lawmakers on the Senate Commerce and Human Resources Committee have Otter’s health exchange bill first. This afternoon, the panel will have a full hearing on the bill – including public testimony.

There are campaigns racing full-steam ahead to derail Gov. Otter’s exchange. The conservative lobbying group, the Idaho Freedom Foundation, is working to table the exchange proposal. So is the conservative National Taxpayers Union.

The Otter administration has countered with a petition encouraging lawmakers to support the plan. It’s backed by Idaho’s most powerful business lobby, the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry.

The health insurance exchange bill is far from the finish line. It will first have to pass out of its Senate committee before heading to the full chamber – and then it will move to the House.

[Report for StateImpact Idaho.]
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