Former House Health & Welfare Committee Chairwoman Janice McGeachin, R-Idaho Falls, was back in Boise on Wednesday leading a session for freshman lawmakers on the Affordable Care Act.
McGeachin was a strong opponent of a state-based health exchange. Last year, she threatened to use her power as chairman to kill any bill referred to her committee.
That never happened, because Gov. Butch Otter backed away in the face of House opposition, including that of then-Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale.
But Otter has revived the effort, making it the signature issue of the 2013 session, with the help of the man who deposed Denney, Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley.
McGeachin was back in the House GOP caucus room Wednesday afternoon, again carrying her trademark 5-inch-think binder on the law.
Unlike Congressman Raul Labrador’s one-on-one lobbying of two freshman Republicans last week, McGeachin’s pitch was an open-door affair. Rep. Steven Harris, R-Meridian, said he invited McGeachin to help fill in freshman lawmakers.
Among those who attended were freshman GOP Reps. Cindy Agidius of Moscow, Neil Anderson of Blackfoot, Robert Anderst of Nampa, Lance Clow of Twin Falls, Tom Dayley of Boise, Doug Hancey of Rexburg, Wendy Horman of Idaho Falls, Steven Miller of Fairfield, Jason Monks of Meridian, Thyra Stevenson of Lewiston and Janet Trujillo of Idaho Falls.
At least two senior lawmakers also attended, House Assistant Majority Leader Brent Crane, R-Nampa, and Pete Nielsen of Mountain Home.
McGeachin retired from the Legislature last year to focus on running her new business, an Irish pub in downtown Idaho Falls called The Celt.