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Eye On Boise

Little speaks out on health care, Labrador on abortion; Ahlquist brings tour to North Idaho

Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad Little has sent out an op-ed piece calling for immediate action in Idaho on health care reform, while 1st District GOP Rep. Raul Labrador is touting his vote for a House-passed anti-abortion bill that’s not expected to be considered in the Senate. Tommy Ahlquist, the Boise doctor and developer, is bringing his 44-county tour of the state to North Idaho this week, with stops in Grangeville, Nezperce, Orofino and Lewiston today and Moscow, Osburn, St. Maries and Coeur d’Alene tomorrow.

The three are the leading GOP candidates for governor of Idaho in 2018; no major Democratic candidate has yet announced.

Little’s opinion piece says, “Obamacare has not worked for Idahoans.  Since Obamacare has become law, premiums have gone up exorbitantly, without a corresponding increase in quality of health care.   Last month’s release of 2018 state insurance premium rates – with an average increase of nearly 30 percent – confirm this reality.” Little writes, “Idaho is now pursuing waiver options in this uncertain and complex environment which will provide greater access and affordability.  We need to demand the federal government allow an Idaho solution to healthcare, one that gets us back to where we once were prior to the failed policies and over-regulation of Obamacare.” You can read his full article here.

Labrador sent out a newsletter saying he was proud to vote for H.R. 36, the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” that passed the House on Tuesday, which would prohibit all abortions after 20 weeks. “Life begins at conception,” Labrador writes. “The unborn child is still a child – made in the image of God, who will one day have the same hopes and dreams as the rest of us. The fact that life begins at conception might be an uncomfortable truth for some. But it’s a truth, all the same.” You can read his full House newsletter here.

The bill passed 237-189. It contains exceptions for the life of the mother, rape and incest. The Idaho Legislature passed a similar law in 2011; it was found unconstitutional and overturned in federal court.

Ahlquist is on a tour of Idaho’s 44 counties in 44 days; his Panhandle stops include the VFW Hall in Osburn at 1 p.m. on Friday; the federal building in St. Maries at 4 p.m. Friday; the Kroc Center in Coeur d’Alene at 7 p.m. Friday; and the Gateway Visitors Center in Bonners Ferry on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. All are town-hall style meetings, open to the public, at which Ahlquist will speak and take questions. The full schedule is online here.

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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