Tommy Ahlquist was an ER doctor for 20 years — he understands health care. And one part of Ahlquist’s plan to cut $100 million in wasteful government spending is for the state to self-insure the public employee health insurance plan. Don’t be led astray by poor industry terminology. This reform does not change plans or benefits to state employees; nor does it raise the cost of premiums.
What it does do is streamline how health care claims are paid. Rather than paying an insurance company to pay these claims, the state would pay them directly. According to the state’s actuarial consultant, this structural change would save Idaho over $60 million in three years and then $16 million each year.
Idaho is one of two states in the nation without this cost-savings option — and 29 other states are fully self-paying, including Utah, Wyoming and Montana. I kindly ask Tommy’s opponents to stop fear-mongering based on lack of policy and industry knowledge. Instead, let’s educate ourselves on Idaho’s options and work together to do what’s best.
Tiffany Cleverley, RN, Meridian
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