Letters to the Editor

Gehrke letter: Governor’s health plan

Governor Otter’s plan on closing the health care coverage gap is a poor alternative to the Healthy Idaho Plan. His plan will cost Idaho more ($30 million vs. $4 million) and provide less coverage. This makes no sense.

The Healthy Idaho Plan gives funding relief to counties, hospitals and the state. It benefits small business because many of their low-paid employees will have health care coverage that small businesses cannot presently offer. The Healthy Idaho Plan also provides full coverage, including hospital stays, and offers full care for those suffering from mental illness and addiction — not offered by Ottercare.

The Healthy Idaho Plan also offers an alternative to housing many of the nonviolent mentally ill and addicted offenders in prison at state and taxpayer expense because it offers medical care as community services that are presently lacking. Our overcrowded prison population and recidivism can be eliminated, saving the state from building a new $200 million prison at taxpayer expense.

I hope that reason trumps nonsensical ideology. When issues have huge impact on Idaho residents, we need pragmatic solutions. Legislators, please do the right thing and adopt the Healthy Idaho Plan. Let’s get it done.

Robert Gehrke, Pocatello

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