Politics reporter Dan Popkey introduces us this week to the members of the Idaho Health Insurance Exchange board. Simple in concept, the story was a challenge to execute, if only because the board has 17 voting members. Popkey called all 17. Sixteen talked.
The board has had an extraordinary task: to create in a hurry a state-run exchange the Legislature at first resisted, and to help carry out a law that Idaho’s congressional members still hope to cripple.
We’re also publishing a story by Washington, D.C.-based Kaiser Health News, which recognized Idaho’s reluctant decision to create its own exchange as a national story. Reporter Phil Galewitz visited Boise and Eagle to report it.
Meanwhile, I hope you read Audrey Dutton’s Sept. 20 Statesman story about Bardenay owner Kevin Settles’ decision to offer health insurance to his full-time workers. (We’re giving Settles a lot of ink. An exchange board member, he’s also in Popkey’s story and Galewitz’s. This is Settles’ 15 minutes of fame.)
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As Obamacare unfolds, we’re also watching another big Idaho business-of-health story: the antitrust case by the federal and state governments, Saint Alphonsus Health System and Treasure Valley Hospital against the rapidly growing St. Luke’s Health System. The trial began Sept. 23. Dutton is covering it.
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