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February 09, 2010
State Lawmakers Try to Make Preemptive Strike Against Healthcare Reform

State lawmakers in Idaho are mulling legislation that would prohibit a requirement for individuals to have healthcare insurance.

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The federal healthcare reform legislation has a requirement that would require individuals to maintain healthcare insurance and would impose a penalty on those who fail to do so. The U.S. Senate and U.S. House have approved different versions of healthcare reform. However, each version contains a requirement for individuals to obtain healthcare coverage or pay a penalty.

The proponents of the Idaho Health Freedom Act (IHFA) argue that it should be left up to the individual whether he or she decides to obtain healthcare insurance. The IHFA states that the federal government lacks the power under the U.S. Constitution to require individuals to have healthcare insurance.

The AARP has released a statement saying it opposes the IHFA. The group argues, among other things, that the legislation could jeopardize more than $1.5 billion in federal matching funds for programs like Medicaid and State Children's Health Insurance Program.

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