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Eye On Boise

Hoffman: ‘You will be under the thumb of the federal government’

Wayne Hoffman, executive director of the Idaho Freedom Foundation, is being given leeway to take extra time at this afternoon’s Senate committee hearing as the lead opponent of the governor’s health exchange bill, SB 1042. Hoffman, who delivered to the committee what he said was “a list of 1,100 or 1,200 people who have signed our petition opposing a state insurance exchange,” also submitted an analysis made by a staffer of his, Parrish Miller. Hoffman said he wanted to take on “this notion that Idaho will be able to in some way control its destiny.” Holding up a sheaf of papers, he said, “This is what you have to conform with. Not only do you have to conform with this, you have to conform to regulations yet unwritten.”

He compared the issue to purchasing a home knowing only that the price would be between $100,000 and $200,000, and that it would have “two or three” bathrooms. “There’s so many unknowns about this,” Hoffman said.

He called the idea of a state-based exchange “phony federalism,” and said the idea that “it’s the law of the land” is the “weakest” argument he’s heard for the exchange, comparing the exchange issue to the Boston Tea Party, slavery and the civil rights movement. “You will be under the thumb of the federal government, “ Hoffman declared. “If you think you’ll have flexibility, it’s a complete myth.” He added, “This is a bad piece of legislation. Obamacare is a bad piece of law and this doesn’t help it at all.”

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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