Idaho House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewistion, a retired physician and health insurance executive, said this morning's U.S. Supreme Court ruling on health care reform “means we have a lot of work to do.” He said, “Whether the law was upheld or not, the issues of cost and quality and access of health care to Americans wasn't going to go away. But it just seems to me that this tool is available.” He said the now-upheld national law provides tools that Idaho can use to address those problems, including the individual mandate. “The majority of the Supreme Court justices realized that you can't run a health care system for a country without having everybody play,” Rusche said.
The Idaho Legislature, strongly opposed to the health care reform law, refused this year to accept millions in federal funds to start setting up a state-run health care exchange under the law. “It leaves us kind of behind,” Rusche said. “I know the Republican mantra is 'we'll just go and repeal it,' but the fact is that it's the law of the land, and my guess is that there will be some action to try to comply.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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