Idaho: Screw mandatory health care insurance

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter (AP)

Idaho is leading the charge in a states-rights push to defeat a proposal in Congress that would require people to buy health insurance, a key piece of reforms being pushed by President Barack Obama.

Republican Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter used a ceremony Wednesday afternoon to become the first governor to sign into law a measure requiring the state attorney general to sue the federal government over any such insurance mandates.

There’s similar legislation pending in 37 other states, a point Otter stressed when asked if the bill he signed can succeed, given constitutional law experts are already saying federal laws would supersede those of states in a U.S. District Court fight.

“The ivory tower folks will tell you, ‘No, they’re not going anywhere,'” he told reporters. “But I’ll tell you what, you get 36 states, that’s a critical mass. That’s a constitutional mass.”

The state measures working their ways through statehouses from Missouri to South Carolina reflect a growing frustration with President Obama’s health care overhaul, especially in Republican-dominated regions.

The Democratic president’s proposal would cover some 30 million uninsured people, end insurance practices such as denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, require almost all Americans to get coverage by law, and try to slow the cost of medical care nationwide.

Democratic leaders hope to vote on it this weekend.

With Washington closing in on a deal in the monthslong battle over health care overhaul, Republican state lawmakers are stepping up opposition.

Last week, Virginia legislators passed a measure similar to Idaho’s new law, but Otter was the first state chief executive to sign such a bill, according to the American Legislative Exchange Council, which created model legislation for Idaho and other states. The Washington, D.C.,-based nonprofit group promotes limited government.

“Congress is planning to force an unconstitutional mandate on the states,” said Christie Herrera, the group’s health task force director.

Still, David Freeman Engstrom, a constitutional law expert at Stanford University Law School, said all these measures face significant legal hurdles. Freeman said there is the question of whether a state has standing to bring the lawsuit, or if that role is better served by an individual who could show they were harmed by the mandate to buy health insurance.

Idaho’s law faces an even bigger challenge, he said, by setting up a direct conflict with the supremacy clause in the U.S. Constitution.

“That language is clear that federal law is supreme over state law,” said Freeman. “So it really doesn’t matter what a state legislature says on this.”

Otter already warned U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in December that Idaho was considering litigation.

He signed the bill during his first public ceremony of the 2010 Legislature.

“What the Idaho Health Freedom Act says is that the citizens of our state won’t be subject to another federal mandate or turn over another part of their life to government control,” Otter said.

Minority Democrats who make up less than a quarter of the Idaho Legislature who opposed the bill called any lawsuits over health care reform frivolous.

Senate Minority Leader Kate Kelly, D-Boise, also complained about the bill’s possible price tag. Those who drafted the new law say enforcement may require an additional Idaho deputy attorney general with an annual salary of $100,000 a year.

Kelly said that was irresponsible when Idaho is grappling with a $200 million budget hole.

“For Democrats in the Legislature, our priority is jobs,” she said. “We’d rather Gov. Otter was holding a signing ceremony for (a jobs package) meant to put Idaho residents back to work.”

At the White House, spokesman Reid Cherlin declined to comment Wednesday night.

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17 Responses to "Idaho: Screw mandatory health care insurance"

  1. Pondering It All  March 18, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I will believe they are serious when they pass the necessary campanion bill: “Let The Uninsured Die in the ER Parking Lot”
    Otherwise, people who “exercise their freedom” to not get health insurance are just freeloaders who are shifting the costs of their risk to the taxpayers.

    Remember, the Individual Mandate is a Republican idea! Democrats wanted an Employer Mandate, but they accepted the Republican’s proposal.

    • Drew from Dover  March 21, 2010 at 2:01 pm

      The uninsured will not die in the ER, they will get the care thru the ER and it’s up to them whether they pay or not.

      Why is the government forcing everyone to pay for what they may use rather than forcing those who have received for what they have received.

      I’ve received medical treatment a few times in the past years and have always paid every penny as I have no insurance. I’m sure I’m far from atypical in this respect.

      I am not a freeloader, I pay for when I get use in lieu of paying far more by paying monthly. I suggest you educate yourself before you embarrass yourself again. Class dismissed. :-P

  2. b mcclellan  March 18, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    That’s one hell of a shot at those of us squeaking out an existence here in Ole corporate slave land once known as the land of the free.

    I suppose the answer is buy insurance, sans food, fuel, and shelter, because I can always crawl to the bus stop to get a ride so I can be treated at the ER for malnutrition.
    Then I can crawl down to social services, swallow my pride and go on the dole becoming the beginnings of a generational burden on this already broken system.

    Freeloaders indeed!

  3. Carl Nemo  March 18, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Hi Pondering It All,

    “Otherwise, people who “exercise their freedom” to not get health insurance are just freeloaders who are shifting the costs of their risk to the taxpayers.” …extract from post

    First of all, no one is going die in an ER parking lot unless someone simply didn’t see them in time to respond to their needs.

    Those folks that don’t have health insurance aren’t “freeloaders” per se. If they had the money; ie., enough discretionary income above basic living costs to pay for such expensive coverage they would do so, but most people can hardly make ends meet. The old saying goes “you can’t get blood out of turnip”, but possibly our out of control Federal government has figured some way to do so.

    Everything the Federal government has managed or touched is now broke from SS on down to Fannie Mae and Ginni mae which are related to housing insurance. Our government survives on the issuance of debt instruments without ever thinking of operating within their/our means; i.e, a “balanced budget”.

    Even if people pay into some type of mandated insurance, rest assured it will be just a few years before you hear oops, we screwed up and we’re short on funds and billions are being pilfered or mismanaged in some way, shape or form as they try to squeeze more money out of a dry sponge; ie, the U.S. taxpayer.

    We’re going down and down hard and now in the sweephand mode to midnight. The people engineering this bill from the White House, to Congress to the board rooms of corporate medicine and “Big Pharma” are crazed with power both political and corporate having little interest in creating a citizen friendly, cost effective way of providing health care. It’s about them, not about us.

    If this President were interested in creating something good for us, then he’d be pushing mightily for anti-trust legislation to break the stranglehold of medical insurers on this nation. They’d be treated like a regulated utility; ;ie, allowed a reasonable ROI (return on equity), but no more with the focus on providing cost effective, functional healthcare for the citizens of this nation. Instead they’ve wired together a bill that’s loaded with earmarks/pork to buy votes from Congress for passage of this nightmare while guaranteeing the bottomline for these insurers in years to come via ‘mandatory health insurance’. The entire scheme is going to fail even if they do pass it.

    I’m thrilled that Idaho among other states are rising up against our now rogue Federal government. It’s time the states yanked the power away from a relatively small core of criminally disposed corporate power brokers who pull the puppet strings of our leadership and now “non-representatives”. : |

    Carl Nemo **==

    • Carl Nemo  March 18, 2010 at 10:29 pm

      Since I have no way to edit my posts I must do so this way. I made an error that chaffs my hide. I wrote …ROI (return on equity) in my post, but I meant (return on investment) for which there’s a difference. I won’t make it habit of corrections such as this, but this one annoys my inner sense correctness.

      Carl Nemo **==

      • b mcclellan  March 19, 2010 at 12:03 am

        Fret not my friend, by the time we wake up ROI and ROE will mean the same thing.
        The waterfalls of law are damned indeterminate..

        Given time the corruption of the Military Code descends on failures in War according to Gods form, command fire.
        I as all who hold stake in this fence are having a tough time finding posts, strong points, the opposite of eyes wide closed is never closer to them than,
        one more, poop I can’t find a job.

        And is the most enabling word next , to War.

        Stop the Wars, start prosecuting , don’t hold your breath, exhale.

  4. b mcclellan  March 18, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Thanks Carl, I liken this legislation to a two headed coin flip that we will not get the option to call even knowing it’s a rigged game.
    How is it these privileged fools are blind to the needs of the underprivileged?
    Is it pure greed and immorality that has removed them from our plane of existence, or abject stupidity?
    I am at a total loss to explain myself other than I feel threatened as never before in my entire experience including the military. This is no longer the land of self reliance and determination and it pains me to my very core.

    • Carl Nemo  March 18, 2010 at 7:23 pm

      Is it pure greed and immorality that has removed them from our plane of existence, or abject stupidity? …extract from post

      They get no “stupidity pass” …period! It’s hard for common, hard-working men and women to realize as to how monstrous and callous both men and women in high places can become. Rest assured my friend in thought, they are far worse than anyone can imagine. I know the evil that men can do and do so without a second thought.

      It’s combination of hubris the absolute corruption that both power and money can breed within the human spirit; ie., unmitigated “core rot”…period!

      So forget about any redemption for this government or even the majority of your fellow citizens.

      You, myself and other hopeful survivors best gird ourselves for the worst. Once the balloon goes up then people will find out how monstrous their government has become. The debacle in New Orleans post Katrina will seem like a cakewalk compared to nationwide insurrection.

      In these times…”trust no one”. : |

      Carl Nemo **==

    • logtroll  March 18, 2010 at 7:36 pm

      Boys, boys! get out the blood pressure meds! If you don’t have any, then pet the cat or something!

      A couple of things from my backwoods perspective (which once included the Gem State), The Idahoan Rs aren’t really showing any independent grit, it’s just an ideological (Ide-illogical) middle finger at the Ds, who certainly know how to screw a good thing up. I don’t disagree 100% with anything you’ve said any more than I agree with 100%. All our pols aren’t totally on the take, but there isn’t a lot of, let’s say “opportunity” for a good man or woman to do good things in our system, and I’m not sure there ever was given that our government, and the governed, are a bunch of nutcase peeple.

      My recommendation, as I may have tried to intimate a time or two in verbal jousting with you actively incorrigible yahoos (gotta love ‘em), is to reinvigorate at the community level. You know what happens when the system collapses? We count on our neighbors again. This bullshit gold-plated forum will evaporate along with all of the other national and global scams, schemes, and other vestiges of us rich folks and our toys, and we will be walking to our neighbor’s homes for food, clothing, entertainment, and even healthcare.

      I like you guys and it would break my heart if I found out that you don’t know which of your neighbors has useful anything for you, but more so if it turns out that you won’t have anything for your neighbors.

      When that day comes, we can piss on the piles of money. What’s it good for, anyway? Can’t eat it, not many Btus in a wheelbarrow of it, and it would make some uncomfortable and poor clothing.

      Why wait? Start now. Join your community.

      • Carl Nemo  March 19, 2010 at 12:28 pm

        Thanks logtroll for your thoughts concerning neighborly friendship and cooperation along with some plan in the event of a crisis.

        I’m in Washington State and visit Idaho on occasion. A number of years back I remember a sign along the road saying welcome to Idaho you are now moving back 20 years in time. : )) You folks are an independent lot and wherever you’ve built solid community and extended family relationships, you’ll do much better than folks in the city and the burbs.

        People are inherently lazy and they simply don’t realize how much “intelligent” effort it takes to gird oneself for survival. The lazy will try to mooch or worse predate on the prepared. So my add-on advice is to choose your post crisis associates well, because the actions of these aforementioned lazy and possibly treacherous types will do you in.

        You are correct in that CHB along with all other communicative trappings of civilization will be gone in the blink of an eye when our rogue government pulls the plug on the web, cell phones, radio and TV all in the name of national security or a genuine natural major disaster that would call for such draconian measures; ie, Yosemite Basin caldera eruption, asteroid incoming, pandemic etc. So survival groups need to think about how they are going to communicate via FRS, CB radios and the ownership or all band transceivers etc. Also any HAM radio operators in the group will be valuable for keeping folks up on what’s happening outside their tank. They also best learn the guerilla useage of radios in terms of maintaining radio silence with communications kept short and in some prearranged code one networks are set up.

        My first blog post to CHB is titled “Do you have a plan?!” written in September 2008. You’ve possibly read it, then again not. If not I suggest you read it just so you know that I and a few others on this site aren’t operating with a bucket on our heads.

        http://www.capitolhillblue.com/node/11316

        All I can say is you are blessed in that you live in Idaho, the “Gem State” and for the most part are away from the madding crowd. It’s not the crisis itself that will do the majority of folks in, but their fellow men and women.

        Thanks for your thoughts. Btw I have seventeen cats on my spread, three house cats and fourteen, “barn cats” that we care for, also one big ol’ dog, that’s seemingly p-whipped by their presence. No high blood pressure meds are necessary, but I have plenty of pussy to pet to calm my ‘fears’… : ))

        Carl Nemo **==

        • logtroll  March 20, 2010 at 12:53 pm

          Cap’n Nemo,

          This link goes to an interesting read regarding the best places to live post globo/corporo/fossilfuel-o/etcetero planet earth.

          http://sharonastyk.com/2010/01/12/reconsidering-cities/

          As it happens, I now live in New Mexico in a 30,000 body-count county where, in spite of the abundance of free fusion-sourced energy and a long growing season, we are nearly as tractor-trailer dependent as anywhere in the US of A. There is, however, occurring what I could only describe as a spontaneous movement to live more locally.

          Gardens are growing where none have been seen for two generations, the Town is beginning to specify local goods and services as practicable, and we have somehow developed the capacity to build homes from 80% locally manufactured materials (I get to take credit for a big share of that one). I don’t mean hippie shacks or weird tire and dirt stuff, either. I’m talking high quality, high performance AND good-looking (reminds me of my wife…).

          Since this is a healthcare thread, I need to mention that several local doctors are now running their businesses on cash payments only, in an amount equaling an insurance copay. They make good money and do far, far less paperwork (one estimates that more than 60% of his cashflow was formerly going to attempts to get paid from insurance companies).

          I want the crash to come. But want to be a little bit prepared for it, including being ready to rebuild on some better principles.

          GW

          • Almandine  March 20, 2010 at 4:43 pm

            The appreciation of wanting the crash to come will be met by almost all as lunacy. In fact, however, how else can we right the situation?

            Viva la downfall!

          • Carl Nemo  March 20, 2010 at 11:50 pm

            Thanks for the feedback GW. : )

            I seems to be that you live in a progressive community with folks who enjoy cooperating with each other and most importantly have a vision for their future.

            Sustainable energy, food and water supplies are most important to achieve such results.

            It seems your community has a plan and are also executing the plan.

            You made reference to “fusion energy” available to your community. Possibly your community is near Los Alamos, but with my knowledge base of nuclear power generation there are no known successful fusion power generators except possibly within the tokamak realm of generation, but still not commercially viable. I’m hoping the “toke” wins out in the quest for successful fusion power.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokamak
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellarator

            I suspect your only source of fusion source energy is from the sun; ie., solar power…no? ; – )

            Your commentary was enjoyable and I’m wishing you and your community success.

            Best regards,

            Carl Nemo **==

        • Carl Nemo  March 20, 2010 at 8:27 pm

          Re: paragraph 4

          Correction: natural major disaster that would call for such draconian measures; ie, Yosemite Basin caldera eruption, asteroid incoming, pandemic etc.

          To me, this is a glaring error and at times I suffer a brain fart. It should read the “Yellowstone basin” and not Yosemite. My apologies for the error.

          Carl Nemo **==

  5. AustinRanter (AKA Gregg)  March 18, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    I think it was inevitable that our government shift from a Republic to whatever the hell we have today.

    When people get drunk on power…and the platform for obtaining and sustaing power is a zero-sum matrix – we have to expect that those in power will leave claw marks to surrender any portion of it. There are only two sides in our government. Their side and their other side. One loses their highest level of power, but temporarily – and one wins the highest level of power temporarily. But neither side ever pemanently loses their power .

    Our role is to support the two sides by supplying them with all of the resources that they tell us that they want.

  6. Bogofree  March 19, 2010 at 7:46 am

    I’m selfish and admit it. If this legislation would raise the level of coverage to those uninsured or under insured to my level and not drop me to theirs I’d be in favor of it. I do not see that. Yes, I’m retired with a “Cadillac Plan” that I don’t want to be dumb downed by Congress. I realize that all this mess is going to do is create more government mandates, administrative paperwork and a giant flotilla of new government hires. Then we talk debt! Also, take a long look at how Medicare rates have increased over the years and they propose cutting reimbursements?

  7. Arlene  March 23, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    What will happen too the unemployed when they can’t afford to pay for mandated health insurance? will they have to use some of their unemployment money to pahy for it?

Comments are closed.