An Idaho health care task force approved a new resolution supporting Gov. Butch Otter’s opposition to federal health insurance reform proposals.
The final vote of 8 to 5 in favor of the resolution included two Republicans, Lewiston Sen. Joe Stegner and Mountain Home Sen. Tim Corder, voting no. Many senators and representatives on the Health Care Task Force shared their opinions on the plans being discussed in Congress. Here are excerpts of the discussion by Idaho lawmakers:
Voting for the resolution:
Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell: “It does absolutely nothing to address the real issue of health care, which is the cost and the delivery… My constituents have no desire to pay for the health care of the people of Nebraska”
Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert: “I believe that the federal reforms will cause an additional burden on families and employers… I do not believe it will provide lower coverage or better access to coverage”
Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, referring to one proposal requiring small construction companies to offer insurance to employees: “It flat out will put people out of business and keep people out of homes.”
Rep. Sharon Block, R-Twin Falls: “I believe the proposals will create an expansion of Medicaid that will affect the Idaho state budget… they would inhibit the state’s ability to control our own health care destiny and impose a huge debt on future generations.”
Rep. Carlos Bilbao, R-Emmett: “We can’t afford to lose our senior citizens no more than we can afford to lose our children. This is not the right bill for our people and our country… I will support this to help alleviate some of their fears.”
Rep. John Rusche, D-Lewiston: “While there are undoubted concerns… we don’t know what health care reform truly looks like. A resolution calling for a fight against a bill that doesn’t exist yet is a bit premature. “
Sen. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise said she’s “not incredibly fond” of current plans in Congress, but disagrees with the resolution.
Corder said he voted no because he’s unsure of a line in the resolution saying reform proposals will cost more than a trillion dollars. Cameron, who drafted the legislation, said there is some debate on the true cost.
The resolution supporting Otter’s stance will need to be voted on by both the House and Senate before it becomes official.
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