Argument not effective if used by both sides
February 8, 2013
Moscow-Pullman Daily News
It's amazing what a healthy exchange of ideas will bring out in people.
And the same can be said about Idaho politicians embroiled in the health exchange debate. Only the sides are not clearly drawn - at least from the basic pro and con positions.
Both sides - those who favor the state-run health exchanges and those opposed - are using the same argument to bolster their take on the issue.
"This is a state's rights issue," David Hensley, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's chief of staff, told a Senate committee last month. "We are exercising our state sovereignty and maintaining as much decision making authority as possible."
That makes sense considering Otter's stance as a state's rights kind of guy. For him, the state-run exchanges are far better than ones run totally by the federal government or in partnership with the state.
Those opposed to any federally mandated exchanges are using the state's rights doctrine to fight the governor's proposal for the most part because it is part of the Affordable Care Act.
"I'm against any form of health insurance exchange," Eric Pederson, a Boise resident, told the same committee. "We have God-given rights, and the better strategy is just to stand up and say 'No.' "
That's enough passion to make ol' King George III spin a few times in the royal crypt.
The exchange debate has also opened the door to a bit of hysterics that leaves most of us scratching our heads.
Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, compared insurance companies involved with exchanges to the plight of Jews during the Holocaust.
"The insurance companies are creating their own tombs," Nuxoll wrote in an email. "Much like the Jews boarding the trains to the concentration camps, private insurers are used by the feds to put the system in place because the federal government has no way to set up the exchange."
Nuxoll concluded the feds will end their relationship with the insurance companies after a few years.
The Idaho exchange is heavily pushed by five Idaho-based insurance companies including the state's two largest. They are on board and not a bit confused as to their roles.
We have a bit of advice for Nuxoll - reboot the part of your brain that proofs your thoughts before you verbalize them and, failing that, have your drinking water tested.
The editorial posted here is provided by permission of its original publisher and does not necessarily reflect the views of Idaho Public Television.
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