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Eye On Boise

Vick on exchange: ‘We didn’t bring the snakes into the house’

Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, spoke out against HB 248, Gov. Butch Otter’s state health insurance exchange bill, saying he rejects the idea that health care reform is “the law of the land.” Said Vick, “Those states that opposed slavery, did they say, well I guess the best we can do is when those slaves get into our free states, is make sure that we take care of ‘em well, clean ‘em up and send ‘em back home to their slave owners? No they did not. They formed the underground railroad and they got those people to Canada.” He brought up civil rights icon Rosa Parks and her resistance to segregation laws. “Did she do that by taking the very best seat at the back of the bus? No, she did it by sitting at the front of the bus, by not complying with the law. History teaches we don’t change a bad law by complying with it,” Vick said.

“Now if you want Obamacare to be run in the best possible way for the people in Idaho, you may want to vote for a state exchange, because we may very well do it better. But if you want to reverse Obamacare, put an end to it, and encourage others to fight Obamacare, then you need to vote no. … We may embolden a citizen or two or 10 or 100 to join us in that fight. That historically is how you stop an unjust law. To me taxing people for failing to buy insurance is unjust.”

Vick said supporters of the state exchange are saying, “We fought, and we lost, so let’s comply.” He compared that to opponents of segregation. “They had to defy the unjust law,” he said. He also compared the exchange issue to killing rattlesnakes as a youngster. “One summer I personally killed 13 rattlesnakes,” he said, “but you know what I didn’t do … we didn’t bring the snakes into the house to try to control ‘em or to try to contain ‘em, we didn’t bring ‘em into the house to try to keep an eye on ‘em.”

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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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