Available Soon: Request your printed copies of the Idaho Freedom Index mailed to you!
Request Your Copies
Note to Dustin: This is currently only visible to logged in users for testing.
Click Me!
video could not be found

Lawmaker’s dishonesty gives cover to medical-industrial complex 

Lawmaker’s dishonesty gives cover to medical-industrial complex 

Wayne Hoffman
August 29, 2023
Author Image
August 29, 2023

Medical welfare makes up the biggest part of the state’s budget at more than $4.5 billion. It’s bigger than education. Bigger than transportation. The program, called Medicaid, is a big deal and, arguably, a growing problem for taxpayers and society as a whole. The chart for Medicaid spending looks like a hockey stick. It’s off the charts, with no end in sight. 

This program, launched in 1965, was originally intended to help the poor and disabled. Now, it’s used for able-bodied adults who want ADHD medicine and hormone therapies so they can pretend they’re a different gender. And you’re paying for it. While Gov. Brad Little said earlier this year that he doesn’t want Idaho’s Medicaid program being used for puberty blockers, hormones, or gender surgeries; the state has already paid for gender-related medications, according to a lawsuit over the state’s unwillingness to pay for surgeries. 

So it is very curious that Sen. Kevin Cook, a Republican from Idaho Falls, said in a podcast interview a couple of weeks ago that Idaho has no choice but to participate in the program. 

Cook said the most the state of Idaho can do is “fix Medicaid around the edges.” 

“There’s a lot of people who say, ‘Well, just get rid of Medicaid.’ That’s not our option,” Cook said with an air of authority. “Medicaid is demanded. It is required. It’s a federal required insurance, social insurance requirement. So we might not like it, and we might want to get rid of it, but it can't be done at our level. It’s gotta be done in Washington, D.C.”

I’d like to be polite about this, but Cook told a bald-faced lie, and he’s unwilling to correct the record. I asked him privately to do so, but Cook seems like he'd rather mislead people. I don’t intend to let his misinformation go unchallenged.

Why is he doing this? Obviously, a lot of money is at stake in the medical-industrial complex, and much of the medical-industrial complex is propped up by billions of dollars channeled through Medicaid. It is an inconvenient fact that neither Idaho nor any state must put up with it. 

Medicaid is not a required program. It’s completely optional. Idaho joined the program right after Congress passed it and President Lyndon Johnson signed the program into law, along with Medicare, as part of his leftist Great Society programs. Arizona was the last state to sign onto Medicaid, and that decision came in 1982 一 17 years after it was enacted at the federal level.

Not only is Medicaid optional, but so are some of the components of Medicaid that the state offers, including a prescription drug benefit, adult dental services, and, most recently, Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. The Legislature could decide as early as next year to end participation in all or parts of Medicaid, and the governor could sign such legislation. And doing so would be perfectly legal.  

With medical welfare gone, money would be freed for other state priorities, be it state police to go after fentanyl drug cartels, highways and bridges, tax relief, or, dare I say, the government school system. But if you’re wondering why the state doesn’t have money for X, Y, or Z, Medicaid is the reason. The program takes $856 million from the general fund, or close to what the state spent on public schools just 20 years ago. 

But it’s more than that. There is a societal impact. If you’re wondering why churches, charities, and neighborhood organizations barely care for the poor and the needy, Medicaid is also the reason. 

By telling Idahoans that repeal is “not our option,” Cook leaves an important option off the table. Medical welfare is eating the state and federal budgets alive. Nationally, the medical welfare program cost more than half a trillion dollars, and the price tag has doubled in a decade. And the program is destroying the very fabric of a society built on caring for one another. One would think that a Republican legislator would want to be honest about this reality instead of offering smokescreens and wholesale lies designed to keep a socialist program in place. 

Idaho Freedom Foundation
802 W. Bannock Street, Suite 405, Boise, Idaho 83702
p 208.258.2280 | e [email protected]
COPYRIGHT © 2024 Idaho freedom Foundation
magnifiercrossmenucross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram