“Those of us who support a state exchange believe a state exchange would be less costly, less onerous for the citizens of Idaho, provide better product choices and make better use of the insurance professionals who are in this state,” Sen. John Tippets, R-Montpelier, told the Senate this morning, in his opening debate on SB 248.
Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, was the first to debate against the bill. “My good senators, you’ll recall that I vigorously opposed SB 1042, and I vigorously oppose HB 248. There are some minor changes, but the effect is the same. This is the voluntary implementation of the Affordable Care Act.” He said, “My experience tells me that there is really nothing I can say right now that is likely to change any minds. My heart tells me that I need to try. I do believe this is the most important issue of my legislative career. … My heart, my mind and my soul believes that this is the wrong thing for Idaho.” Fulcher said, “We don’t know the costs, and there’s no guidelines, there’s no boundaries in this legislation that would limit that.”
He added, “The answer has always been and continues to lie with the free market, not regulated activity; with self-sufficiency, not government control.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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