Idaho Democrats say they are on Gov. Butch Otter's side in creating a state health insurance exchange — but that doesn't mean the Democrats aren't ripping Otter over health care.
A recent Otter guest opinion on health care, published in Sunday's Statesman, indulges in "inventive recollections," and suggests Otter was planning to address the issue before Congress passed President Obama's health care legislation.
“It is great to hear the governor finally express concern about affordable health care but he is showing up late to the game,” Democratic Party executive director Shelley Landry said in a news release today.
Sniping between the parties aside, Otter might need votes from the Democratic minority if he wants to get a health insurance exchange through the Legislature. Some Republicans are rallying against the exchange — designed to help small businesses and individuals shop for insurance — because the exchange would be funded through grants from the feds’ health care law.
Speaking of sniping, an aside: The Democrats' release refers to the governor as "Clement Leroy Otter," not his preferred "C.L." or "Butch."
Here's the full release from the Democrats:
Idaho didn't tackle meaningful health care legislation before the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act, even though Gov. Clement Leroy Otter now claims otherwise in a recent "Reader's View" piece published in the Idaho Statesman.
“It is great to hear the governor finally express concern about affordable health care but he is showing up late to the game,” said Shelley Landry, executive director of the Idaho Democratic Party. “It is ridiculous that he claims the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act halted plans already in place to improve Idaho’s healthcare. We are unaware of any concrete plans to improve health care by the Governor’s office prior to the passage of the Healthcare Act. Please, Governor, show us the bill you were trying to introduce.”
Despite railing against efforts to improve our nation's health care system, Otter now refers to a health insurance exchange as an “idea of a one-stop clearinghouse for the best, most up-to-date and concise information available about options for insuring themselves and their families against the potentially catastrophic costs of health care.” Since the governor can't make that policy sound like a bad idea, perhaps he's looking for ways to make it sound like his idea?
Under the new federal health care law, Idaho has to create an exchange that will be as good or better than what is already provided by the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act.
Mrs. Landry said, “Regardless of his inventive recollections, we are hopeful that the governor is successful in the passage of the exchange. Doing something that will help all Idahoans is part of his job.”