One Idaho Senator Supports Idea of Health Insurance Exchanges But Has Concerns

Dec 13, 2012

Mike Crapo
Credit Mike Crapo

Idaho's governor announced yesterday the state should build its own health insurance exchange rather than go with a federally- run model. Exchanges are online marketplaces that allow consumers to assess health insurance plans.  Under the Affordable Care Act, every state must have one by 2014.

Idaho Senator Mike Crapo says Governor Butch Otter had a big decision to make. Crapo says he can support the idea of a health care exchange. “Done properly, not under the mandate and the management of the federal government, but done properly by a state, could be a helpful development in terms of controlling our health care costs and achieving the most efficient delivery of health care to the people.”

That said, the Idaho Republican Senator says he doesn’t like the requirements for exchanges that were drawn up under the Affordable Care Act. “The exchanges that were built into the Obamacare legislation are a difficult proposition and were not a good part of the law,” Crapo says. “And if the Governor were to decline to engage in creating that kind of a health care exchange, I could understand it, because of the impact on the state and the fiscal costs that I believe could ultimately be caused by that.” 

StateImpact Idaho reports a working group chosen by Otter concluded that Idaho should build its own health insurance exchange.  Members of the group argued the state will cede less control over the local health insurance market to the federal government under a state-based model.  They said that would help keep Idaho’s health insurance costs low.

Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio