Idaho Health Care
In August 2007, the Governor Otter convened the Idaho Health Care Summit to evaluate Idaho's current health care system and recommend ways to make health care more affordable and accessible to Idahoans. One month later the Governor established the Governor's Select Committee on Health Care to evaluate the summit's recommendations, gather data, and provide additional recommendations based on its findings.
In 2008, the Select Committee on Health Care issued a report with recommendations that led to development of health care initiatives. Various workgroups and councils have contributed to development of Idaho's health care system. The following compilation of work documents displays the progress achieved and coordination efforts continuing in Idaho.
Idaho Health Care Summit
August 21-22, 2007
Governor Otter convened the Idaho Health Care Summit to evaluate Idaho's health care system. The Summit created an extensive list of recommendations, many of which the Governor's administration is executing and working toward today.
Governor's Select Committee on Health Care
September 28, 2007
Governor Otter established the Select Committee on Health Care to evaluate issues identified by the Idaho Health Care Summit. The Committee was charged with submitting its recommendations for his review.
"The Committee found that quality health care is available in Idaho, but that Idahoans have difficulty accessing it because of an inadequate delivery system, the high cost of coverage, and a shortage of health care professionals." (Select Committee on Health Care Report)
The Behavioral Health Transformation Workgroup
February 4, 2009
By setting up the Behavioral Health Transformation Workgroup, the Governor demonstrated his support for the Select Committee's recommendation to work collaboratively with government agencies, courts and communities to build a coordinated substance abuse and mental health system.
The Idaho Health Professions Education Council
February 26, 2009
One of the Select Committee's recommendations was to create a council to review issues related to a lack of health care professionals in the state. During the Governor's State of the State address, he announced that he would establish the Idaho Health Professions Education Council to address the State's shortages in all health care professions.
The Health Policy Implementation Committee
December 15, 2009
Upon sunset of the Select Committee on Health Care, the Governor convened the Health Policy Implementation Committee to ensure the Select Committee's top priorities were given proper leadership and accountability for implementation. This committee continued its work until the federal health care bill was passed in Congress. At that time a more comprehensive approach was adopted by creating the Idaho Health Care Council.
The Governor supported these top priorities:
- Covering Idaho's Children
- Expanding Medical Residency Opportunities
- Insurance Affordability and Accessibility
Idaho is not waiting for federal health care reform
March 5, 2010
The Governor wrote an opinion piece framing his frustration with the federal government's attempts to control health care.
"For 35 years now the federal government has been essentially running healthcare in America, masking market signals and supplanting the judgment of patients and physicians with the determinations of politicians, bureaucrats and lawyers. It should be no surprise that healthcare became 'health management," people became statistics, and the fear of liability became the biggest expense of all." Governor Otter
The Governor's Idaho Health Care Council
December 14, 2010
The Governor established the Idaho Health Care Council to continue the work of the previously established committees, as well as to provide some context for the emerging demands related to the statutory requirements of the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress.
The Behavioral Health Interagency Cooperative
January 27, 2011
With the sunset of the Behavioral Health Transformation Workgroup and its subsequent recommendations to the Governor, the Behavioral Health Interagency Cooperative was given responsibility for implementing changes to the behavioral health system, which includes mental health and substance abuse needs.
Work of the Idaho Health Care Council
June 29-30, 2011
All of the established workgroups of the Idaho Health Care Council convened to present the work product of the individual groups and to discuss ways they could initiate improvements to Idaho's system of health care. The two-day seminar included a variety of workshops which can be viewed here.
Current topics related to health care
Read three of the Governor's editorials
Idaho Alzheimer's Planning Group homepage
The bottom line...
"In 2006, then Congressman C.L. "Butch" Otter said during his campaign for Governor that he does not believe it is the government's job to provide health care coverage to everyone. He stated, "It is government's role to provide an economic, regulatory, and legal climate in which individuals and employers can afford to provide themselves, their families, and their employees the heath care coverage they need." The Governor views this approach as an investment in longer-term savings so government can provide temporary help to those who truly cannot afford health care coverage – especially children." (Select Committee on Health Care Report)