Little ‘optimistic’ after DC meeting over health plan

State public health care plan clears Washington House

BOISE, Idaho (AP) – Lt. Gov. Brad Little says he has a better understanding of the federal government’s position after being told the state’s move to let companies offer health insurance plans that don’t meet Affordable Care Act standards is illegal.

Little announced Thursday he recently met with White House advisors and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma in Washington, D.C. Little was joined by state Department of Insurance Director Dean Cameron and Idaho’s Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Risch.

Little says he remains optimistic the federal government will work with Idaho on implementing the plan.

Little, Cameron and Gov. C. L. “Butch” Otter announced earlier this year they would begin allowing insurers to offer plans that don’t meet all ACA regulations, such as by charging people more based on their health history, or by not covering some health needs like maternity care.

Verma countered that such a move would force the federal government to enforce the provisions of the ACA on behalf of the state.