Gov. Otter reacts to passage of health care bill



Posted on March 22, 2010 at 11:30 AM

BOISE -- History was made late Sunday night, when the House of Representatives passed the landmark health care reform bill.

President Obama is expected to officially sign it into law on Tuesday.

Under the new law, insurance companies will no longer be allowed to deny coverage to people because of pre-existing conditions -- or be able to cancel coverage when a policy-holder gets sick.

Meanwhile, Gov. Butch Otter is taking a stand against the bill.

"I would disagree that this covers 220-thousand people that are not covered in the state of Idaho right now. I don't think this law comes even close to what the proponents of it are suggesting that it will do." said Otter. "It's going to absolutely destroy the best health care system in the United States, in the world. And not only that, it's not going to cover the folks that they are now indicating that it will cover. They are going to have to change this law much, much more than in order to make it work."

Just last week, Otter signed the Idaho Health Freedom Act into law.

That move made national headlines.

That new law says if Idahoans are forced to buy health care insurance, the state would require its attorney general to sue the federal government for the right for people to decide for themselves whether they should have health insurance.

"No doubt about it we're doing our homework on the lawsuit right now. But we won't be able to initiate that until we actually have standing or we have the potential of being harmed." Otter said during a phone interview.

He is the first governor in the country to sign this type of legislation, but he doesn't think he will be the last.

"In the past Idaho was the first to sign that bill but it's being considered by 37, or 38 other states right now. Thirty-eight states is three-fourths of the states and that's what it takes to change the constitution."