Idaho's Obamacare Fight Continues Tuesday, Dec. 11, with Task Force Meeting


Next week, Idaho is expected to have an answer on whether the state will implement a health insurance exchange, a key component of the Affordable Care Act.

In November, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and the governors of 15 other states—all Republicans—were given more time to make a decision. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius extended the deadline to Friday, Dec. 14.

Otter is expected to publicly announce his decision before that deadline, while a Health Care Task Force comprised of state legislators will reconvene on Tuesday, Dec. 11, five months after the 12-member panel first met to discuss options.

During that meeting, lawmakers considered the ramifications of implementing a health insurance exchange or letting the federal government step in to create its own.

During that July meeting, Brian Kane, assistant chief deputy from the Office of the Attorney General, said either branch of the Idaho government—the Idaho Legislature or Governor's Office—could move forward on implementing the ACA. So far, neither body has made a decision on how to handle the health care overhaul.

Meanwhile, a governor-appointed working group recommended the state adopt a state-run, nonprofit exchange during an Oct. 26 meeting, while business and industry leaders have done the same.

The legislative task force will convene at the Idaho State Capitol from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday.