Otter Gets 4-Week Extension on Health Care Exchange Decision

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Thursday night, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter was given a homework extension.

Otter, along with the governors of 15 other states, originally had until today to decide what to do—if anything—about a health insurance exchange, required under the Affordable Care Act.

But U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent a letter to the governors—all of them Republicans—saying they now have until Friday, Dec. 14, to formally state their intentions.

Earlier this month, Citydesk was told by Otter's press secretary Jon Hanian that the governor was still mulling a 50-page recommendation issued by a 13-member panel tasked with examining the ACA implementation, with particular focus on a state-based health insurance marketplace.

"The governor is doing his own due diligence now that he has received their work," said Hanian. "And when that is complete, he will make his decision known."

On Oct. 25, a coalition of Idaho businesses, individuals, health care providers, financial advisers and the highly influential Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry publicly urged the governor to create a state-based exchange.

"As you approach your final decision about a state health insurance exchange, we, the members of the Idaho Health Exchange Alliance, ask for your support of a state solution," wrote the alliance.

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