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Posts tagged: Health & Welfare

House Debate Begins On Exchange

House Health & Welfare Chairman Fred Wood, R-Burley, is opening the debate in the House on HB 248, the governor’s state health insurance exchange bill.  “Prior to going through the House bill, I’d like to take  a moment to put this bill into perspective and why we’re here today,” Wood told the House. “With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Idaho has a simple choice to make, and that choice is what kind of a state insurance exchange do we want in terms of health insurance. We have to have an exchange,  with the passage of the Affordable Care Act. We don’t have a choice not to have an exchange. … And there’s only two types, there’s a state exchange, or there’s two versions of a federally facilitated exchange”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Go ahead and predict how the legislators in your district will vote on the exchange — state run or no?

Senate H&W Kills Minors Tanning Bill

The Senate Health & Welfare Committee has voted 5-3 to kill HB 486a, the bill to ban kids under 16 from using tanning beds and require those age 16 or 17 to have parental consent. Sharee Skinner, owner of Southern Exposure Tanning Center in Nampa, told the committee her salon already requires parental consent for minors to tan and won't allow anyone under 13 to tan. She called the bill “great overreach of the government,” and said, “You can moderately tan and that's what we have people do in our salon”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do you consider tanning-bill legislation for minors to be a government over-reach?

Richert: 906 Pages Of Easy Reading?

On Thursday, Rep. Janice McGeachin handed members of her House Health and Welfare Committee a little light reading: the federal health care law. All 906 pages of it. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am all for legislators reading legislation — starting with the legislation on which they actually vote. But there is some gamesmanship going on here, as McGeachin and her committee prepare to take center stage in the debate over a state-run health care exchange. McGeachin, R-Idaho Falls, is emerging as one of the Legislature’s best-positioned opponents of the proposed exchange — a federally funded portal where individuals and small businesses can shop for health insurance. And if McGeachin can turn the debate over the exchange into one more Statehouse referendum on the law Republicans love to call “Obamacare,” she just might rally enough resistance to stop the exchange/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you consider the term “Obamacare” to be offensive?


Read more here: http://voices.idahostatesman.com/2012/01/13/krichert/idaho_politics_mcgeachins_906page_reading_recommendation#storylink=twt#storylink=cpy

H&W Starts Drug Abuse Study

An  official with Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) confirmed Tuesday that the department has started work on a controversial drug abuser study commissioned earlier in the year by state lawmakers.  The study, the official confirmed, will likely be completed well before the start of the 2011 legislative session, the date by which lawmakers ordered the study be concluded. … Officials with the department, Shanahan said, will evaluate if there would be any benefit to the state through removing reoccurring drug offenders from public assistance payments like Medicaid or food stamps/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Do you support this study?

H&W To Lay Off 126, Shut BF Office

About a third of the state’s field offices for the Department of Health and Welfare are being closed and 126 workers are being laid off within the next two months as the department struggles to cope with a shrinking budget. Department officials announced Tuesday that offices in American Falls, Bellevue, Bonners Ferry, Emmett, Jerome, McCall, Orofino, Rupert and Soda Springs would close within the next two months, and some services in the St. Maries office would be shifted to Coeur d’Alene. Department officials say the closures are expected to save about $7 million/Associated Press.

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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