With Republican legislators at his back, Gov. Butch Otter became the first governor in the nation to formally set up a showdown with the federal government over pending health care legislation. Wednesday, at his ceremonial office in the Capitol building, Otter signed the Idaho Health Freedom act, which, sponsors say, will prevent citizens in the state from being forced to purchase health insurance as a requirement of citizenship.

IdahoReporter.com was able to record the press conference, including the question and answer portion, in its entirety.

Part I:

Part II:

Otter was joined by Reps. Steven Thayn, Emmett, Lynn Luker, Boise, Jeff Thompson, Idaho Falls, Raul Labrador, Eagle, Steve Hartgen, Twin Falls, and Jim Clark, Hayden Lake, along with Sens. Russ Fulcher, Meridian, and Monty Pearce, New Plymouth.

The legislature in Virginia has passed similar legislation, but it has not been signed by the state’s governor.  Otter said that comparable legislation is pending in 37 states across the nation.

(Note: Following the signing, the Idaho AARP released a statement slamming Otter for signing the bill.  View IdahoReporter.com’s coverage of the AARP opposition here or view our coverage of the legislation’s passage in the Senate here.)

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