Meridian Sen. Russ Fulcher is Senate Majority Caucus chairman, the spokesman for the Republican caucus and No. 4 Senate leader. In an article written for the National Federation of Independent Business, he outlined arguments against Gov. Butch Otters plan to have the state run its own exchange rather than defer to the feds.
Writes Fulcher: Part of the evil genius of (the health care act) is that it depends on the private insurance industry to put the exchange mechanism in place. Ironically the organizations pushing hardest to implement state-based exchanges (the insurance carriers) have the most to lose.
Fulchers bottom line: If you believe in the principles of socialism and turning over an INCREMENTAL one-sixth of the nation-wide GDP to the federal government (via healthcare), then you will want to support the state-based exchange.
Fulcher outlines four major arguments: that a state exchange is a form of voluntary compliance with negative legal implications; that the state will be in charge of enforcement; that the private insurance industry will be damaged; and that it is irresponsible to take on a responsibility with unknown costs and rules.
Fulcher notes that 25 states have decided not to create a state-run exchange and refusing to do so may help the law fail: The feds should be granted every opportunity to fail, and hopefully they will.
Sen. Jim Rice, R-Caldwell, who supports a state exchange, responded by noting that the landscape has changed since the Supreme Court upheld the law against a challenge by Idaho and other states and President Obamas re-election.
Now we are left with a different decision, writes Rice. The question before us is will we have a state-based exchange or a federal exchange? Rejection of an exchange in its entirety is not one of our options.
Sen. Fulcher is trying to create a circular firing squad, Rice told me Thursday. Its a cut-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face strategy.
Rice says a state-run exchange would give Idaho more discretion in managing health plans and save money for Idahoans: Voting no on a state exchange will not exempt any individual or business from the penalties and taxes that are part of Obamacare.
Dan Popkey: 377-6438