It took three tries for the the Idaho Legislature to pass a measure blocking part of last year’s federal health care reforms. The Senate approved the plan Thursday that limits state agencies’ power to take federal money or enter into agreements if the money or plans are part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
In his debate in favor of the plan, Sen. Monty Pearce, R-New Plymouth, listed his concerns with PPACA, including the new government agencies and added health care regulations.
“This is a very, very serious thing for America,” Pearce said. “We need to at least hold it out of Idaho for as long as we can.”
The legislation would block the Idaho state government from enacting any parts of the PPACA that are considered discretionary. That could apply to federal grants, including the $2.5 million that lawmakers rejected for setting up a health insurance exchange.
During debate on the plan, Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, was very critical of the PPACA, saying it could be called socialized medicine, that it would set up death panels, that elements of the plan are akin to Nazism and that the reforms are supported by Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
Democrats opposed the plan. “By passing this law, we will shoot ourselves a big hole in our foot,” said Sen. Dan Schmidt, D-Moscow, who is a doctor. “I think this is a mistake financially.”
Senate Minority Leader Edgar Malepeai, D-Pocatello, said there is no need for the plan and that it’d unnecessarily put a wall up between Idaho and millions in federal grant money. Sen. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise, said Pearce’s legislation does nothing to address problems of rising health care costs, or the burden of the uninsured on state coffers.
The legislation now heads to Gov. Butch Otter for his consideration.
Note: IdahoReporter.com is published by the Idaho Freedom Foundation, which helped write this legislation.