Otter, AARP Agree on Funds for Obamacare


A health insurance exchange, the centerpiece of the controversial Affordable Care Act, has picked up some unlikely supporters at the Idaho Statehouse.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter warned lawmakers yesterday that if Idaho doesn't apply for a $40 million federal grant to establish an exchange, which would allow individuals and small businesses to shop for the most effective care, then the federal government may come in to run the program.

"The question now is whether we're going to have a state insurance exchange," said Otter. "Or whether we're going to have a national exchange imposed on us."

Meanwhile the AARP of Idaho, which had not given Otter high marks as of late, praised the governor for his statement.

"AARP strongly supports the implementation of a state-driven approach to the exchange with strong consumer protections and commends Governor Otter for his stand," said Jim Wordelman, state director of the Idaho AARP.

Otter warned members of the Idaho Legislature's healthcare task force on Monday that the state has until Sept. 30 to apply for the $40 million grant.