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Eye On Boise

Labrador, Farris speak out on health care reform repeal vote

Idaho 1st District Congressman Raul Labrador today defended his vote in the House to repeal the national health care reform law, saying, "Since my time in the Idaho State Legislature, it has become clear to me that Idahoans oppose every aspect of Obamacare. ... This law forces Idahoans to purchase a product against their will under the threat of paying a tax for not doing so."

Meanwhile, his Democratic challenger, former NFL football player Jimmy Farris, criticized the vote, saying Congress shouldn't be backing repeal of help for uninsured Idahoans while its members enjoy health insurance benefits. "The fact is, Congressman Labrador is a well paid obstructionist with no plan," Farris declared in a statement. "While making $174,000 and enjoying a Cadillac health care plan provided by the taxpayers, he abandons 294,000 uninsured."

2nd District Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson also voted for the repeal in the House today; it passed on a 244-185 vote, with five Democrats siding with all House Republicans. The vote was symbolic, as repeal doesn't have the votes to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate. It followed dozens of similar House votes in the last year and a half.

Labrador said, "I will continue to fight to repeal Obamacare in Congress until the job is done. We must enact real health care reform such as health savings accounts, tort reform and association health plans which will lower the cost of and increase access to health care. We can even look at retaining such provisions as coverage for pre-existing conditions or the ability to keep our kids on our insurance for a longer time - but we must find ways to do so without raising taxes on millions of Americans." You can read Labrador's full statement here.

Farris countered that the repeal vote sought to do away with those very provisions protecting young people and those with pre-existing conditions, without proposing replacement programs; and also would reverse a ban on insurance companies imposing lifetime caps on benefits. He called on Labrador to reveal how he'd reform the health care system and cover uninsured Idahoans; click below to read his full statement.

                Jimmy Farris for Congress Campaign

For Immediate Release

Date: July 11, 2012

First district candidate Jimmy Farris:  “If there is no Labrador Health Care Plan He Should Forfeit His Cadillac Health Care Benefits and Return His $174,000 Salary”

MERIDIAN, ID - Democratic Candidate for the First Congressional District, Jimmy Farris, demanded that his opponent Congressman Raul Labrador reveal a detailed plan for health care reform to cover the 294,000 uninsured Idahoans.   

"When Congressman Labrador votes today to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) he must simultaneously reveal his own version of a health care plan that protects Idaho senior citizens, young Idahoans covered under their parent's plan and Idahoans with pre-existing conditions.  Congressman Labrador should also tell us whether insurance companies will once again be able to impose lifetime caps on Americans," Farris said. 

"The fact is, Congressman Labrador is a well paid obstructionist with no plan.   While making $174,000 and enjoying a Cadillac health care plan provided by the taxpayers, he abandons 294,000 uninsured," Farris said.  

"Congressman Labrador should do the honorable thing and forfeit his Cadillac health care plan and his $174,000 salary until he reveals his comprehensive health care plan," Farris said. 

"Where's your plan, Congressman Labrador?" Farris challenged.  "Roll it out for all to see.  Do it now."


Jimmy Farris is an Idaho native from Lewiston who attended the University of Montana where he earned a degree in Marketing and Management while having a standout football career with the Grizzlies. In spite of going undrafted by the NFL, he was signed by the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent in 2001, and remained with the NFL until retirement in 2009. Former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs described Farris as “A little ol' guy who fights his guts out.” Jimmy then moved in to sports broadcasting, started the Jimmy Farris Future Leaders Foundation, then decided to return to Idaho and run for Congress because he believes his home state needs leaders who serve Idahoans and not special interests.


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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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