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Tobacco fund becomes point of contention for Kempthorne, lawmakers 

Jump to full article: Associated Press (AP), 2006-01-10
Author: Associated Press


Governor Dirk Kempthorne's plan to pay medical bills of uninsured Idaho residents with the state's share of a nationwide 1998 tobacco settlement is drawing fire from both Republicans and Democrats.

They say the governor's plan would take money from other causes.

Idaho gets about $24 million annually from the smoking settlement with the five largest tobacco companies, including Philip Morris.

Critics of Kempthorne's plan to shift most of this money to pay for indigent health care say it would leave the tobacco fund too insignificant to pay for other things, such as smoking cessation programs.

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