Expanding Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act violates conservative principles and costs too much

Note: This commentary first appeared in August 29 in the Post-Register. As Idaho contemplates Medicaid expansion (part of Obamacare), please recall Elvis Presley’s great hit “Suspicious minds.” It begins with the line “[w]e’re caught in a trap.” Medicaid expansion is a trap. Like a drug dealer, the federal government promises “freebies” at first, and then when we’re hooked, they up the price. Medicaid expansion is costly, liberal and it makes Idaho a federal subsidiary, responsible for yet another big chunk of the Obamacare disaster. Medicaid expansion will extend coverage to an estimated 100,000 Idahoans. This comes by raising the eligibility
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Gambling could turn Boise County economy from bust to robust

Boise County residents are debating whether to allow gambling into the rural, economically depressed county. Gambling, such as slot machines and card tables, is illegal in Idaho unless on an Indian reservation. But some residents in Boise County feel they need a boost for their businesses, specifically in Idaho City. The town once thrived, with industries flourishing including mining, logging and, yes, gambling. Regardless of how some people feel “morally” about gambling, I see this is an economic issue. And what exactly is moral about denying Boise County the opportunity to do something for itself? To squash the county’s desire
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Tax breaks should be transparent, not decided upon in a back room

Imagine what might happen if officials from the Internal Revenue Service met secretly to decide how big or little your tax liability should be. Picture IRS honchos huddling with colleagues, casting judgment on the value of your kids, your home, your job, said value being subject to the fluid thinking of government officials. That’s pretty much sums up the latest iteration of tax policy in Idaho, with a new law that lets businesses receive a credit of up to 30 percent against their tax liability. Under the legislation passed last winter, the businesses must add a certain number of jobs—20
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Don’t be fooled by political labels during an election cycle

As we move closer to another election season, politicians, the major media and academic experts will serve up a rich menu of political labels for the electorate to digest. Words like “right-wing” or “Tea Party” are to be expected, but even more conventional words like “conservative,” “liberal” or “moderate” should also be viewed with skepticism. In the waning days of the Soviet Union, those who wanted to keep the empire together, staunch Communists, were called conservatives. In the U.S., during Reagan’s ascendancy, the word liberal became synonymous with political permissiveness as well as big spending. Fast forward to today and
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Warrantless blood draw under consideration at the Idaho Supreme Court

On Aug. 20, the Idaho Supreme Court heard oral argument in State of Idaho v. Micah Abraham Wulff. The Wulff case involves the admissibility of evidence obtained via a warrantless blood draw after Micah Wulff was taken into custody under suspicion of driving under the influence. The Supreme Court of the United States examined the issue of warrantless blood draws in Missouri v. McNeely, in which the court held that the natural metabolism of alcohol in the bloodstream does not constitute a per se exigency sufficient to justify an exception to the Fourth Amendment’s search warrant requirement for non-consensual blood
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