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Editor's note: I have written about health insurance exchanges and what our readers have said they want when it comes to whether Idaho should have a state-based exchange. I have been clear on my personal and St. Luke’s view that a state-based exchange is the best option for Idaho. Today, I'm sharing a blog contribution from none other than our own Gov. Butch Otter. Gov. Otter has been very thoughtful about this issue, first establishing a work group of knowledgeable leaders to review this issue and, after the work group voted overwhelmingly to support the state-based exchange, demonstrating true leadership by putting ideology aside to support a state-based insurance exchange as the best thing for Idaho and Idahoans. Here in part is his letter; click on the link at the bottom to see the full message.
Dear Dr. Pate,
I would like to extend my sincere appreciation for your’s and St. Luke’s support of a state-based insurance exchange.
Our system of government can only succeed with the active participation and civic virtue of people like you. I urge you to continue to stay engaged in this discussion and thank you for helping to spread the word through your blog about why a state-based exchange keeps as many options as possible open to the people of Idaho.
As much as we might object to the necessity, creating a state-based exchange is the only way to preserve options, oversight and accountability for our citizens.
I hope your readers will consider these four actions that will help protect Idaho's options.
1. Join the Idaho Health Exchange Alliance by visiting www.keepitinidaho.com. The Idaho Health Exchange Alliance is working to protect Idaho's choice to have a state-based exchange.
2. Share this e-mail with five friends and tell them to sign my petition for a state-based exchange at http://gov.idaho.gov/ourstateexchange.cfm.
3. Contact your legislators by calling (800) 626-0471 and tell them you support an Idaho insurance exchange.
4. E-mail your legislators at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for making a difference and supporting this important legislation.
To read the letter, click here: Gov. Otter's letter
David C. Pate, M.D., J.D., is president and CEO of St. Luke's Health System, based in Boise, Idaho. Dr. Pate joined the System in 2009. He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center.
How do you define health? Physical? Mental? Social? Health goes beyond medical care. It's how we take care of ourselves, how we interact with our communities, how we take care of each other.
Let St. Luke's support your health, however you define it.