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News Release
The following is a press release from (Idaho) Governor Otter’s Office:

For Immediate Release: March 17, 2010
Contact: Jon Hanian (208) 334-2100

Governor Signs Idaho Health Freedom Act

(BOISE) – Hailing it as a reflection of public dismay with Washington, D.C., and a clear expression of State sovereignty, Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter welcomed legislative sponsors to his office at the Capitol today for the signing of House Bill 391 – the Idaho Health Freedom Act.

“Congress and the White House are working out their scheme for pushing through a healthcare ‘reform’ bill that has more pages than the U.S. Constitution has words. I guarantee you that not a single member of the House or Senate has a complete understanding of that legislation any more than they understood all the implications of the USA PATRIOT Act back in 2001,” Governor Otter said. “What the Idaho Health Freedom Act says is that the citizens of our state won’t be subject to another federal mandate or turn over another part of their life to government control.”

The legislative cosponsors of House Bill 391 – Representatives Jim Clark of Hayden Lake, Raul Labrador of Eagle and Lynn Luker Boise, along with Senator Monty Pearce of New Plymouth – joined the Governor at the signing ceremony to celebrate a victory for Idaho’s self-determination.

The Idaho Health Freedom Act also takes into account the work that Idaho already is doing on its own to promote greater accessibility and affordability to healthcare for all Idahoans. That involves working closely to create and nurture public-private partnerships to develop primary care medical homes throughout Idaho, expand medical residency programs, expand the safe and secure electronic exchange of health information, and improve the voluntary enrollment of Medicaid-eligible children.

Governor Otter said it is a different approach to government than some people are used to, but one that respects the source of government authority and resources and understands the limited but crucial role that government should play in people’s lives.

“From addressing the ‘tax gap’ to managing our aquifers, from increasing the potential for charitable giving to reorganizing management of our State parks system, and from our insistence on maintaining a stable and predictable tax structure to our continuing efforts to find savings throughout State government, this has been a productive legislative session,” he said. “We have kept our priorities where they belong – on finding better, more efficient and effective ways to serve the individuals, families and communities with whose tax dollars we are entrusted.”