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Idaho House Moves State Closer to Health Care Disaster
Date:2/9/2010

the health care debate continuing in Congress and in state legislatures, AARP is working to protect Medicare, and tackle soaring prescription drug costs and skyrocketing insurance premiums.

AARP's key concerns with the Idaho Health Freedom Act (HB 391):

Potential Litigation: The IHFA is subject to many interpretations, and could draw the state into costly litigation, further depleting state resources while not benefiting Idaho residents. As it is, in a tight budget year, the IHFA appropriates $100,000 to legal efforts to defend the action; the cost of litigation would likely be much higher.    

Loss of Federal Money and State Jobs: This act could jeopardize more than $1.5 billion in federal matching funds for programs such as Medicaid and SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program) -- funds Idaho depends on to provide critical health and long-term care services to hundreds of thousands of Idaho families, children and retirees.  The loss of federal funds could also result in the loss of jobs in our state's growing health care industry.

Contradicts Idaho Policy:  Idaho currently requires all full-time students at state colleges and universities to carry health insurance; if they don't, the penalty is they cannot enroll in school.  This is a state mandate for insurance coverage that carries a penalty: Exactly what the IHFA claims to oppose.  

Ties the Hands of Idaho Legislators on Health Care:  If Congress passes health reform, it could eventually become the law, regardless of this Act.  If passed, the IHFA may tie the hands of Idaho lawmakers from fully participating in all available state
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SOURCE AARP Idaho
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