Post Register’s salute to statism forgets that statism has consequences

Idaho Falls Post Register writer Corey Taule on Friday issued a “CHEERS to Gov. Butch Otter.” Under the heading of “celebrating Otter’s statism,” the article says, “the governor this week stepped up his effort to create a state-based health insurance exchange, a requirement of the Affordable Care Act. … An exchange is an online portal where consumers can shop for policies and see what subsidies they might qualify for under the new health care law. It’s estimated state exchanges will lead as many as 15 million uninsured Americans to private plans. If Idaho doesn’t act, the feds will create an exchange for us, resulting in lost jobs, higher premiums and increased federal regulations.”

The newspaper is wrong. The state-based insurance exchange is not required by the Affordable Care Act. Additionally, the exchange is not merely “an online portal” to shop for insurance. If that were the case, it wouldn’t cost $77 million to set up. It is an entire bureaucracy designed to dole out money and catch individuals and businesses who fail to buy insurance.

But wait, there’s more. “Lost jobs, higher premiums and increased federal regulations” aren’t just the outcome of having a federal insurance exchange; the same is true under a state insurance exchange, but the Post Register fails to mention that. After all, statism has consequences.

The Post Register gets one thing right, when it says “Otter’s mentor, the old Caldwell libertarian Ralph Smeed, might be spinning in his grave” over Otter’s decision.

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