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Standing up to the public

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In a noble effort, Idaho Representative John Vander Woude is bravely standing up to the bully majority voting public and protecting his fellow aggrieved minority legislators. He has vowed to fight the will of the “uninformed” voters. “We don’t always let the majority make all the decisions because our Constitution is to protect the rights of everybody, not just the majority,” he said.

Thank God for brave legislators standing up to protect us from ourselves. We need it don’t we? After all, Idaho voters have made so many mistakes in our initiative votes.

The Fish and Game Commission (passed by initiative in 1938) ought to be thrown out; why do we need such folly? At the very least we should require some means testing for all who wish to take public game from the taxpayer’s trough.

And the publicly passed Sunshine Laws (1974) to insure open government might need a test too. Vander Woude should champion IQ testing of all those who want to run for office and gain income and health insurance at taxpayer expense.

The first trouble with losing is how it makes you feel. Wayne Hoffman and the Idaho Republican Party felt so bad about losing their fight over Medicaid Expansion that they took their pouting all the way to the Idaho Supreme Court. Well, the only thing they won there was being excused from paying the winning sides (the voters) legal fees.

The second trouble with losing is what you learn from it. In this case, “wrongness” is not being considered by Republicans. It was wrong for the Idaho legislature to avoid this topic for six years while many of our working poor citizens were without access to health insurance. It was and is wrong to wastefully spend taxpayer money for medical bills for catastrophic and indigent care.

Losing can teach humility. It shouldn’t teach shame. There is nothing wrong with losing if you have done your best and you fought for what was right. Believe me, I know this; I’m an Idaho Democrat.

If Representative Vander Woude has the honest intent of making Medicaid expansion work best for Idaho, let’s ask questions through clear, not red Republican or blue Democrat, but clear glasses at Medicaid Expansion. After all, many Republicans voted for it. And it is now law for all Idaho.

Here are some questions to help you frame your decisions.

Do you believe all Idahoans should have health insurance? If the answer is NO, you should be fighting for full repeal. 40% of Idahoans agree with you. If the answer is yes, then the next question:

Do you think the program to get all Idahoans covered by health insurance should be done at the lowest expense to the taxpayer? If the answer is YES, then you should support Proposition 2 unaltered. If the answer is NO, then the choices become wide and range from cheap to costly.

Honestly, these are the sorts of questions that are critically important to public policy. If you want people to participate in a program (immunizations, sex education, car insurance) then you design the program to maximize participation. You would automatically enroll them and give them the choice to “opt out”. If you don’t want them to participate, you require them to “opt in”. There are all kinds of incentives to use. It just comes down to where do you want to go.

Here’s my bias. I wanted the most Idahoans covered by health insurance at the lowest cost to the Idaho taxpayer. I support enacting Proposition 2 unaltered. But if you can show me how an investment of taxpayer dollars makes our citizens healthier, more productive, more engaged, better parents, better students, maybe clearer underwear, show me the plan and how much it will cost, and I might support it. It’s all about our vision for our state. I’m fiscally conservative. Show me what my tax dollars earn.
 

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