Governor Butch Otter’s sudden embrace of Medicaid expansion in Idaho has more to do with a shallow attempt at building a phony legacy of concern than it does with any real regard for the health of low-income Idaho residents. Otter is the longest serving state governor in the U.S.; having served continuously for 11 years and 9 months. He also served as lieutenant governor for over a decade. So why is he just now acting concerned about the health care of Idaho residents while packing his moving boxes to leave the Governor’s Office? Did health care for Idaho residents slip his mind while in office all those years?
This is just another example of a politician’s attempt to hide his real record as he marches off into the sunset. Don’t fall for this silly shell game. The reality is that the GOP leaders in Idaho have always chosen their party over the best interests of Idaho residents. A sudden “apparent” change of heart does not erase a political lifetime of cynical actions that have kept Idaho near the bottom of the charts for education, health care and wages. That is Otter’s real legacy ... and he knows it.
Doug Burr, Spokane, Wash.
I was dumbfounded when I saw Governor Otter’s endorsement for the Medicaid expansion. After at least six years staunchly opposing the expansion, why support it now? It is not any newfound compassion for the working poor who are the ones needing the expansion. They make too much to qualify for Medicaid, too little to qualify for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. I’m sure it is not because of the blood on his hands from those who died during these six years of no coverage. A health care professional estimated to our state Legislature, which also refused to expand Medicaid, that about 1,000 of our fellow citizens died because of this refusal by our Republican governor and GOP-run state Legislature. So why now? I am convinced it is to make the Republicans look good, like they really care about us. Don’t be fooled. If you voted for the Medicaid expansion, I hope you also voted straight Democratic ticket. It is the Democratic Party which has cared about access to health care for all of us for literally decades, while the GOP, now the Cult of Trump, has fought it all these decades, and still does.
Dallas Chase, Boise
Recently, in a 72-hour period of time, three crimes occurred in the United States with one common theme — hate. It is sick and frankly frightening what may come next for us minorities. It is discouraging that this rhetoric comes from people in political power who are supposed to bring common sense, unity, solidarity and a sense of peace to our country and the world. It is even more disheartening to hear anti-immigrants, anti-gay and anti-Semitism rhetoric. Every action, in this case, every word has a reaction. Mean-spirited words have a reaction and unfortunately, this reaction is against minorities. This destructive rhetoric encouraged by our very leaders is sending a message to dormant haters to wake up and act, that it is OK to carry out acts of violence.
We need to stop spreading hate; we need to stop a revenge rhetoric. We need leaders to deliver and believe in peace, unity and solidarity. However, this is not only a job for those with leadership position, all of us have to contribute — parents, teachers, counselors, politicians. All of us need to bring back our “one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Marino Perea, Boise
I write to protest mass media constantly promoting the Trump administration lies and self-serving photo ops. Kanye West at the White House is not news, it is propaganda. We are being saturated with free “advertising” to Trump’s base with daily “news” coverage. Only actual policy and true news should be reported, and equal time should be given to offer a balance of information. This coverage is what helped him get elected and is unacceptable. Americans should not be subjected to constant lies, propaganda and “pep rallies” for the most corrupt administration in modern history. This is not Russia with the communications controlled by the government. Stop the daily propaganda for your ratings or profit and start covering issues instead of this travesty of a presidency.
Sheila Robbins, Boise