Idaho Gov. Otter Vetoes Bill Over Fed Health Insurance

Thursday, 21 Apr 2011 10:29 AM

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Republican Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has proved his disdain for Obamacare, but he vetoed a bill Wednesday to help his state block the federal health insurance mandate. At the same time, Otter issued a broad executive order targeting the healthcare reforms, according to Foxnews.com.

Butch Otter, Idaho, governor, health care
Gov.  Otter contends bill would have had unintended consequence of taking away state's opportunity. (AP Photo)
Otter said he vetoed the bill, which lawmakers recently passed, because it would have required the Great Potatoes state to forgo creating its own state health insurance exchange.

That would have allowed the federal government to muscle its way in to develop and operate the insurance system, said Otter, who was the first governor to sign a measure to file suit against President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul,.

"While I agree that the state should not implement Obamacare, this legislation has the unintended consequence of eliminating a possible opportunity for Idaho and ceding control to the national government," Otter said in a letter to Idaho's secretary of state explaining his decision to veto the bill.

Otter's executive order prohibits Idaho agencies from implementing the reform, or helping the feds carry out the law, although it permits the state to move forward in developing its own health insurance exchange.

"No one has opposed Obamacare more vehemently than me," Otter said in his letter to Secretary of State Ben Ysursa. "However, ending Obamacare by whatever means does not alleviate the need for Idaho to develop its own solutions to healthcare issues in our state."

Idaho is among 27 states suing the federal government over the healthcare overhaul and provisions that would force residents to buy insurance by 2014. That suit is expected to land before the U.S. Supreme Court.


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