Idaho Business Coalition Urges Otter to Move Forward With Insurance Exchange


The Idaho Health Exchange Alliance, a coalition of business leaders, including Blue Cross of Idaho and the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, called on Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter to move forward with building Idaho's own health insurance exchange.

Exchanges, online marketplaces, are a lynchpin of the Affordable Care Act—much derided by opponents of President Barack Obama, who now proudly embraces the term "Obamacare."

The ACA requires Idaho, and other states, to declare by Nov. 16 whether it will design and/or build its own exchange. If Idaho decides not to pursue a state exchange—or fails to meet the deadline—the federal government may create one that would be operated at the state's expense.

A recent poll performed by the Mason Dixon Polling Group showed that a majority of those who responded in Idaho were in support of a state health insurance exchange.

“We can have the people of Idaho create a health exchange for Idahoans, “ said Dean Haagenson, the president/CEO of Contractors Northwest, Inc. in Coeur d’Alene and a former state legislator. “Or we can take whatever the federal government gives us. I know which one I’d prefer.”

Other supporters include the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Food Producers of idaho, Idaho Association of Health Plans, Idaho Medical Association and the Idaho Mining Association.