How do you eat an elephant?
One bite at a time.
Last year, Idaho legislators attempted to nullify the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. With Idaho Secretary of State Lawrence Wasden vocally opposing the principle of nullification, efforts failed.
HO117, which declared the health insurance mandates in the federal health care act unconstitutional and would have prohibited Idaho from enforcing them passed the House 49-20, but died in a Senate committee. HO059, a broader health care nullification act, never made it out of a House committee.
With similar political dynamics in play in the Gem State this legislative session, opponents of federal health care act opted for a new tactic.
Call it nullification by degree.
Instead of attacking the PPACA in toto, Idaho representatives opposing the act seek ways to block its implementation. For instance, the House will likely reject a $20.3 million U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grant designated for the creation of a state insurance exchange, according to an AP report. And HO530 would prohibit any law requiring disability insurance providers to cover abortion, sterilization or contraception, provisions the feds will require.
The Idaho House has already blocked other bits of the health care act. For example, lawmakers voted down a proposal to expand Medicaid to cover smoking cessation for pregnant women. And on Monday, the House Business Committee rejected a HO423, a provision that would have set standards for excessive, inadequate or discriminatory rates for small employer and individual insurance plans by a 9-6 vote. The provisions would have aligned state law with the federal act.
“We’re going on the defensive,” Rep. Vito Barbieri, (R-Dalton Gardens) told AP reporter John Miller. “We’re finding ourselves having to put out fires as they come up.”
On a more proactive note, HCR45 encourages private insurance companies to set up exchanges in lieu of government run exchanges.Details