Idaho Must Develop Insurance Exchange

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The debate surrounding the Affordable Care Act made its way back to the Idaho legislature this morning.

A year ago, Republican lawmakers opted to tackle what they call "Obamacare" in court, joining 26 other states to challenge the reform. This morning the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee heard from Bill Deal, the director of Idaho's Department of Insurance, who said the reality of "Obamacare" is moving forward in his agency.

"If we don't continue to plan for this, we will lose state-based regulation," said Deal. "And that, in turn, could lead to a federal takeover."

Deal said his department needed to start developing a so-called "insurance exchange," offering a marketplace of health-care options for Idaho.

"It's really essential that we move forward with that plan," said Deal.