Lawmakers Are Told State Health Plan Isn't Idaho-Friendly


Idaho lawmakers were schooled on elements of the state's health insurance plan that may be a bit hypocritical.

Friday morning, bipartisan members of the Economic Outlook and Revenue Assessment committee listened to a presentation from a spokesperson for the retail and hospitality industries.

"You're always hearing Buy Idaho, Buy Idaho," said Pam Eaton, president of the Idaho Retail Association and executive director of the Idaho Lodging and Restaurant Association. "But I can give you a good example of how that may not be true. The state health insurance plan, which I'm presuming most of you have, encourages mail-order prescriptions. That's directly hurting our pharmacists."

Eaton said retail openings are outpacing closings in Idaho and "there's a definite up-tick of new pharmacies as Baby Boomers continue to age."

The retail/hospitality industries comprise 24 percent of Idaho's Gross State Product, collect 60 percent of general sales taxes in the state and represent 33 percent of Idaho's workforce.