BOISE, Idaho, March 13 (UPI) -- Despite bipartisan political support, Idaho has not been able to approve a state-based health care exchange, AARP officials said.
"There seems to be a real disconnect on this issue between what Idaho voters wanted and needed and its fate at the statehouse this session," Angela Cortez, interim state director for AARP in Idaho. "Idahoans are having a hard time paying for their health insurance and a state-based, consumer centered health care marketplace would have helped them find affordable options."
An AARP Idaho survey indicated:
-- More than half of registered voters, ages 30-64, in Idaho who have health insurance are reporting difficulty affording it.
-- Nearly 70 percent said they worry about being able to afford the healthcare services they think they'll need.
-- Due to the high cost of healthcare: 38.6 percent have scheduled fewer checkups with their doctor; 40.4 percent have delayed seeing a doctor or nurse when not feeling well; and 22.1 percent have delayed filling a prescription.
-- About 90 percent say the needs of consumers and small businesses should be put before those of health insurance companies.
The survey found creating a health exchange had the support of: 77 percent of Republicans, 72 percent of conservatives, 78 percent of Democrats and 73 percent of Independents.
The exchange would set up an insurance marketplace to help individuals and small businesses shop for and access more affordable health insurance plans, allowing them to get the same deal large businesses do when it comes to health insurance costs.