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How Health Care Debate Impacts Idahoans

Idaho is one of 26 states that are currently suing to get the health care reform law thrown out, but a local insurance broker says Idahoans could be in hot water if the individual mandate remains in effect.

Oral arguments began today in the Supreme Court over President Barack Obama’s controversial health care reform law.

The question on many peoples’ minds: ?Is it constitutional to require every single American to purchase health insurance??

?I understand that the uninsured do cause the insured a lot more money,? said broker Carlos Aponte. ?Having said that, does it give the federal government the right to come in and mandate that each individual person who’s ever born have to buy health insurance or you get taxed??

Many states are planning for the mandate by creating their own health insurance exchange programs. Idaho began discussion on an exchange during the current legislative session, but the plans have since been set aside.

“If the Supreme Court doesn’t vote the individual mandate as unconstitutional and the bill moves forward, it puts Idaho and other states under a lot of pressure to come up with a state exchange fairly quickly,” Aponte said.

Aponte said insurance companies are also planning, by charging higher premiums and rejecting more claims. That puts a greater burden on the consumer.

?What insurance companies are doing is they’re planning for the future, and they’re adjusting and building their infrastructure to the things that are going to be coming about in 2014,? Aponte said.

The federal government would begin enforcing the mandate in 2014.

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