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Oppose Gov. Otter’s Call for State Insurance Exchange:
An Open Letter to the Idaho Legislature.
February 4, 2013
On behalf of National Taxpayers Union’s 362,000 members nationwide and nearly 2,500 members in Idaho, I urge you to oppose the creation of a state health insurance exchange, which will lead to higher taxes and dramatically increase the role of government in the health care sector.
As experts at the Goldwater Institute have pointed out, a state-based insurance exchange is illegal under the 2010 Idaho Health Care Freedom Act (HCFA). Upon becoming the first governor to sign the HCFA, Governor Butch Otter declared, “The citizens of our state won’t be subject to another federal mandate or turn over another part of their life to government control.” To support the creation of an exchange now – as the Governor does – would appear to infringe on Idaho law.
Additionally, one recurring argument for the state exchange centers on maintaining state control. However, this is a misconception. The health law clearly states that the federal government will have absolute control over the exchange, even if it is state-funded. This means that the federal government – not Idaho – will choose which physicians and insurance plans are able to participate.
It is no accident or mistake that 25 states have already opposed the state exchange. Many lawmakers across the country understand that the exchange will lead to more taxes, higher insurance premiums, more expensive medical care, reduced accessibility, and worse patient outcomes. In essence, states that implement exchanges become co-owners of the federal government’s health care law.
As the Idaho Freedom Foundation has stated, the exchange will do nothing but facilitate the federal government’s takeover of the health care system, and like Medicaid expansion, is nothing more than a multi-billion dollar boondoggle the cost for which will be borne by future generations. With this in mind, it is imperative that Idaho becomes the 26th state in the national movement to resist “Obamacare” by rejecting the state-based health insurance exchange.
Sincerely,Lee SchalkState Government Affairs Manager
cc: Governor Butch Otter