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Debate: ‘The exchange piece isn’t where we can fight that’

More from the insurance exchange debate in the Senate:

Sen. Jim Rice, R-Caldwell, said he’d start with Chief Justice John Roberts of the U.S. Supreme Court. Rice, a lawyer, said he has great respect for the courts, but said of Roberts, “He is a supreme court justice and needs to act like it.” He called Roberts’ ruling on the health reform law “ridiculous.” Rice said, “There will be an exchange administering the subsidies, with insurance policies, whether we pass this bill or reject this bill. … It’s the exact same one, with the exact same authority, powers and consequences. There is a difference. The difference is we can control the cost to Idaho taxpayers. We can control and have some ability to affect in a positive way how much is taken off their dinner tables to pay for something that’s a bad idea. I don’t like the Affordable Care Act. It’s horrible public policy. It doesn’t make health care more affordable for anybody. … But the exchange piece isn’t where we can fight that.” He said the state exchange also would allow Idaho to protect the state’s insurance industry. “I support this act because this is an area where we have no ability to win, but we have some ability to defend our citizens,” Rice said. “And they elected us to defend them.”

Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, asked a series of questions first of Rice, and then of Sen. John Tippets, the floor sponsor of SB 1042.


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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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