Idaho is opting for a state-based health insurance exchange, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter announced Tuesday.
The exchange is under the terms of the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) and is subject to legislative approval.
A health insurance exchange is part of President Obama’s overhaul where individuals and small businesses will be able to shop for insurance via an Internet portal.
Otter said Idaho had two options: “Do nothing and be at the federal government’s mercy in how that exchange is designed and run, or take a seat at the table and play the cards we’ve been dealt.”
The governor said the move should not be interpreted as his endorsement for the Affordable Care Act.
“This decision does not signal support for the law or how it is being implemented,” he said. “However, it does reflect my continued determination for Idaho to be actively engaged in making the best possible choices – to the degree we are allowed – in the interest of more accessible and affordable health care for our citizens.”
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had given Otter until Friday to decide. Previously, a governor-appointed panel told Otter to adopt a state-based exchange.
“This is not a battle of my choosing,” Otter said.