A call to action
January 30, 2013
By Idaho Governor Butch Otter
Yesterday I submitted legislation to create a
state-based health insurance exchange. I learned
that your state legislators are hearing from
constituents who would rather cede all control
to the federal government to make decisions
about your health care coverage.
It's time for Idahoans to tell their elected
officials that they want Idaho to be actively
engaged in the decision-making process by taking
a seat at the table.
The Affordable Care Act requires states to make
a decision between a state or federal exchange;
and I choose Idaho. But I need your help to
ensure Idahoans will continue to be the
architects of our own destiny and determine how
health care insurance coverage options will look
in our state.
Here are three things you can do to protect
Idaho's seat at the table.
1. Sign my petition to add your name to the list
of Idahoans that choose a state-based health
insurance exchange over a federal exchange here.
learn about an Idaho Insurance Exchange and sign
my petition to our State legislators urging them
to choose an Idaho-based exchange over a federal
2. Call your legislators at (208) 332-1000 and
let them know you support a state-based
3. E-mail your legislators at
firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them you
support a state exchange.
Here are my top five reasons for creating a
state-based health insurance exchange:
1. It is the best choice for Idaho.
I fought hard against the mandates and
overreaching federal authority of Obamacare when
I joined the lawsuit with other states, but
despite my best efforts the law remains in
place. After careful deliberation, I decided it
was not in the best interests of the majority of
Idaho's citizens to surrender full
decision-making authority to the federal
government by allowing a federal exchange to be
established in Idaho.
2. It keeps the feds at bay.
Believing the state can ignore the requirements
of Obamacare will result in a federal exchange
being imposed on Idaho citizens. This would
invite increased federal involvement in state
affairs through further regulation of our
insurance markets, enlargement of the federal
bureaucracy and incurring federal fees for
operating costs associated with running a
3. A federal exchange means higher costs.
It is in Idaho's best interests to implement a
state-run exchange that would be funded at first
through a series of federal grants. Going
forward, exchange participants would fund the
state-run exchange through user fees or
assessments set by a local board. Keeping the
exchange local would avoid the addition of a
proposed 3.5-percent premium surcharge for
policies purchased through a federal exchange to
fund its operations.
4. State implementation of an exchange is
consistent with our state's rights stance.
Ceding all control to the federal government
means giving up any possibility of effectively
pursuing local priorities regarding cost
containment, quality control, regulatory
control, accountability, job formation and a
product tailored to our Idaho needs.
5. It's the law.
We may not agree with the Affordable Care Act or
accept its mandates - I certainly don't. But
elected officials are sworn to uphold the laws
of our country. We are a nation of laws with
established avenues for addressing our
grievances. You all know how I feel about
Obamacare. I will continue encouraging and
supporting efforts by our Idaho congressional
delegation and many others to repeal and replace
But the fact remains that for now and for the
foreseeable future it is the law. And as
responsible elected officials we're sworn to
uphold the rule of law - not just those laws we
Be sure to visit my website,
to learn the facts about a state-based insurance
Questions or comments about this
Click here to e-mail!