The trouble with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, or Obamacare) is that it doesn't protect patients, make health care more affordable or improve care.
The trouble with a "state" (vs. federal) health exchange (S1042 and H179) is that it doesn't place the state in control - a state exchange has to comply with the same rules as a federal one.
In both pieces of legislation, one needs to look past the misleading titles and into the text itself. What these bills really do is increase government control at the expense of personal choice, freedom and responsibility.
Obamacare is federal law, but that doesn't make it right. There have been numerous "laws" changed when citizens get involved. Remember, it was once legal to enslave men and women according to race, but that wasn't right then and it isn't right today. For that law to be changed, courageous people had to stand for freedom and equality.
I believe Chief Justice John Roberts sent us a reminder of this when writing his opinion in the recent Supreme Court ruling (NFIB v. Sebelius). He said, "The States are separate and independent sovereigns. Sometimes they have to act like it." Idahoans know this, and they expect action from their elected officials.
I have received many messages asking for help in stopping Obamacare; and if we as state officials don't take a stand, who will?
Obamacare and its implementation in Idaho (via an exchange) will be devastating to our economy. It is a federal power grab and an intrusion on individual privacy like we have never seen before. If the feds want their precious exchange so badly, we should make them own it along with the rest of Obamacare and its costly mandates. Idaho should resist being a subcontractor to Obamacare and reckless federal spending.
For Idaho to resist by itself probably wouldn't have much impact on a national scale. But according to the Kaiser Foundation, at least 25 states have already said no to a voluntary state exchange. The more that resist, the better the chance of avoiding or mitigating the damages of Obamacare. Idaho needs to join the states saying no!
In all my years in the Idaho Senate, there's never been a single issue more important than this one. It represents the core of who we are, what we believe, and whether or not we are willing to stand for the freedom and liberty our forefathers died to obtain. Consenting to the proposed legislation is consenting to Obamacare. I can't do that to the good people of Idaho looking for state officials to be their last line of defense.
Isn't it interesting that the federal government (in debt some $16.5 trillion) is pushing for "mandates" on debt-free states like Idaho, forcing the same fiscal irresponsibility that got them in trouble? Idaho taxpayers don't want and can't afford Obamacare.
OK Justice Roberts, I get it.
Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, is the Senate's majority caucus chairman.