Here’s one more thing regarding Rep. Luke Malek’s diatribe about the Idaho Freedom Foundation as printed in the Spokesman-Review newspaper: I like Luke Malek. I do. I truly do. However, I don’t believe anything he says.

In 2013, when Malek was a freshman legislator, I spent a lot of time educating Malek and his colleagues about the issues surrounding the state insurance exchange. Malek told me he felt the Legislature needed to act that year on the matter.

“No you don’t,” I told him. Obamacare did not (and still does not) require every state to set up an insurance exchange in any one year; a state can make a decision to set up an exchange or even dismantle its insurance exchange at any point. Malek acknowledged this. He told me he agreed, that the state need not proceed in 2013 with setting up a state insurance exchange.

Several days later, February 13, the House Health and Welfare Committee scheduled a meeting. On the agenda were two proposals, including RS22027, “health insurance exchange.” The sponsor of the legislation was listed as “Rep. Luke Malek.”

I sent a text message to Malek: “What is your RS on the agenda for tomorrow’s H&W meeting?”

His answer: “Nothing to worry about.”

The rest is history. Malek was proposing the state create an insurance exchange, a proposal which lead to the state’s implementation of Obamacare. Malek did ask to meet with me after his proposal was introduced. But the deed was done.

Since the mid 1990s, I’ve watched legislators and lobbyists come and go. There’s one common thread in the legislative universe. Your word should count for something. I have no ill will toward Malek. I still like the guy. I just don’t trust him.

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