Here comes the NCAA anyway

On Monday it was announced that the NCAA basketball tournament (March Madness) would be returning to Boise in 2018. As a sports freak, I am overjoyed. As someone who works in the public policy arena, however, it’s a bit confusing. Why? Well, you see the topic of guns on campus has been hotly contested the last few years in Idaho. And one of the arguments used by those against allowing people to campus carry was that the NCAA would frown on Boise State and decide to pick another host town. Obviously that didn’t happen. But media at the time seized
Read More

Medicaid expansion is the bad idea that just won’t go away

Imagine an 8-ounce glass of water on a kitchen counter. The glass is almost full. I could, as a matter of public policy, declare that the glass should hold 16 ounces of water. But my declaration won’t make the glass larger. It certainly won’t make the water tastier. And if I do decide to pour more water into the glass, the overage, unsurprisingly, would spill onto the floor. Similarly, expanding Medicaid won’t mean Idaho will miraculously have more doctors, more nurses, more practitioners of any kind. It won’t cure disease. It won’t even stop your runny nose. There are three
Read More

Medicaid expansion has unintended consequences

Medicaid expansion in Idaho has been presented by its supporters as a “win-win” scenario with federal money replacing state funds and more people receiving medical coverage. Supporters of expansion can’t seem to bring themselves to consider that there might be unintended consequences. If we bring more able-bodied adults into the medical system, will current participants be displaced or have longer wait times as a result? Even if capacity is added, will it happen quickly enough to offset the added burden placed on the system? Who will pay for that added capacity? The federal money promised as part of the Medicaid
Read More

Idaho last in protecting juvenile records

The Juvenile Law Center (JLC) has released a study rating all 50 states and Washington, D.C., regarding how well they protect the records of juvenile offenders in their criminal systems. The study, which rated each state on both its confidentiality practices and its expungement practices, said that Idaho’s combined score was the worst in the nation, resulting in Idaho being the only state to receive a one-star rating (out of five). According to JLC, “Idaho receives the lowest score because there are no confidentiality protections for juvenile records and very few records are eligible for sealing.” On the issue of
Read More

Watergate, Grubergate … welcome to Weeggate

As much fun as Grubergate is for the conservative media and Obamacare’s detractors, Weeggate is far more important for Idaho taxpayers. On Friday, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter’s handpicked Medicaid working group voted for the third time to expand government health care—but it doesn’t seem to want you to know that. Dr. Stephen Weeg, a director for Health West in Pocatello, told his panel colleagues that while the state should expand Medicaid, stakeholders shouldn’t use the terms “expand Medicaid” or “Medicaid expansion” to describe the committee’s actions. “Expanding Medicaid sounds like status quo too much,” Weeg said as he cast his
Read More