House Speaker Lawerence Denney and Majority Leader Mike Moyle weighed in on the Supreme Court’s recent ruling affirming the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act, and here’s their plan: Absolutely nothing that will help the nearly 300,000 Idahoans without health insurance.
They are adamantly opposed to “Obamacare,” mandates requiring health insurance coverage and health insurance exchanges, which could provide a lifeline to uninsured Idahoans.
Their strategy, as with Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador and other Republicans, is to hope Mitt Romney wins the presidency and Republicans win both houses of Congress.
“The 2012 elections for president, Congress and the Senate have never been more critical,” Denney and Moyle said in a statement (which appears in this section).
They may get their wish on the presidency; Romney is almost a sure thing to carry Idaho. Republicans very well could hold onto the House and win the Senate — especially if Romney is elected by a convincing margin. But taking 60 seats in the Senate — which is the number needed to get anything accomplished in that chamber — is a tall order.
So it’s likely we’ll be back to the starting blocks regardless of the election’s outcome.
Gov. Butch Otter is not pinning all hopes on this election. For certain, he wants a Republican sweep in November — large enough to repeal the health care act. But he leaves the door open for Idaho signing onto a health insurance exchange. Instead of jumping to conclusions, as the House leaders are, Otter is asking Dick Armstrong, director of the Department of Health and Welfare, and Bill Deal, director of the Department of Insurance, to provide definitive data.
He’s putting together working groups “to research and examine how best to approach these issues based on the facts rather than speculation and political woolgathering.”
Good for you, Governor. Denney and Moyle, by contrast, are relying on the words of the CATO Institute — one of Washington’s leading woolgathering machines.
It’s interesting that the release from House leaders didn’t include Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke of Oakley. There are probably two reasons why he would not put his name to this foolishness. One, he’s a likely challenger for House speaker later this year. Second, Bedke generally resists knee-jerk reactions.
Denney and Moyle would do better by following Otter’s measured, and far more reasonable, approach.
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