BOISE -- The House kicked off debate over Gov. Butch Otter's plan for a state-based insurance exchange, an issue senators debated for six hours last month and which promises to be no less contentious among representatives.

The House Health and Welfare Committee introduced the bill Monday.

It combines the bill that passed the Senate 23-12 on Feb. 21 with additional oversight provisions demanded by representatives.

Otter and Idaho Senate leaders have signed off on these changes.

A full public hearing is now set for Thursday, beginning at 7 a.m. in the Capitol auditorium.

Under President Obama's health insurance overhaul, exchanges are online marketplaces for individuals and small businesses to buy insurance.

Foes contend adopting a state-based exchange is merely acquiescing to federal tyranny, while Otter maintains it keeps Idaho in control.

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