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Eye On Boise

Testimony: ‘Idaho has some of lowest costs,’ ‘Extension of Obamacare,’ ‘States have ultimate authority’

Among those testifying on the health insurance exchange:

Fernando Veloz of Employer Health Coalition of Idaho told the committee, “We believe in a market-driven system to manage the cost of health care.”  He said his organization is “a firm believer and supports SB 1042,” saying, “It’s a product tailored to our needs. … We don’t want this to be handled at the Washington, D.C. level.” Added Veloz, “Idaho has some of the lowest costs and lowest insurance rates in the country.”

Domenic Gelsomino, state chairman of Idaho Federation of College Republicans, told the senators, “Obamacare was a bill that was introduced and passed by President Obama and the Democratic majority in Congress as a health care bill. It was interpreted by the Supreme Court on a 5-4 judgment as a tax. So therefore … the law is a tumultuous mess.” He said, “Since when has the federal government been able to force us to do anything, since King George himself?” Gelsomino said he opposes a state exchange because “it’s an extension of Obamacare.”

Jon Menough of Elk City told the committee, “I think we’ve got something that’s very important to us here today. We the states are being asked to become again a lackey of the federal government. We are being asked to put our sovereignty aside and do what they ask us to do whether we like it or not. … The states have the ultimate authority, and we need to remember that.” He urged opposition to “any kind of health care exchange in the state of Idaho.”

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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