BOISE, Idaho, April 21 (UPI) -- A bill passed by the Idaho Legislature nullifying the Obama healthcare reform law has become the first measure to be vetoed by Republican Gov. Butch Otter.
House Bill 298 prohibited Idaho from accepting federal money to implement the law or moving to set up a healthcare exchange, The Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Wash., reported.
Otter said his state can set up its own healthcare exchange regardless of the national law, and if the state fails to do so the federal government will step in.
"If we default to the federal government to run the exchange, it can impose regulations and requirements that discourage or make it impossible for insurers to offer affordable health coverage to individuals and small employers in Idaho," Otter said.
He said by operating its own exchange, Idaho can preserve the private marketplace and look for ways to help it function more efficiently.