Idaho Democrats held a Capitol press conference this afternoon to give their take on the just-concluded legislative session, and House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston, said, “We hope to come back here next year to a body that has more responsive, Democratic legislators.”
Told that House Speaker Scott Bedke has announced he’ll appoint a bipartisan working committee to work on a medical coverage solution for the gap population, Rusche said, “Well, good for him. We know how much results the tax working group had, right? Nothing. This issue has been studied to death with professionals who know health care policy, health care financing. The complications of not covering health care for the low-income are clear. I laid ‘em out for my district: We can expect three deaths and spend another $1.75 million over the next year.
Rusche said, “I’m glad they’re going to study it. I hope they move. We couldn’t get ‘em to move this year, maybe we can get ‘em to move next year. But in the meantime, Idahoans should be disappointed in what the Republicans have done to them.”
He and Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, said in a joint statement, “We fought long and hard for healthcare fairness, to protect those in the insurance gap from being financially destroyed by an illness. Closing the gap also saves Idaho lives and millions of dollars. The fact that House Republicans – after four long years – were unable to see the plight of the 78,000 was very disappointing. We will be calling on Gov. Otter to proceed by executive decision or call a special session, likely best done after the GOP primary elections.”