Idaho's Labrador among 72 GOP lawmakers urging nation's governors not to set up health exchanges

First District Rep. Raul Labrador joined 12 senators and 59 other representatives in writing a letter to the National Governors Association suggesting they not exercise the option to set up state-run health exchanges under Obamacare. Instead, Labrador and his colleagues say the law should be repealed.

“I urge Governor Otter to not implement an expensive, intrusive, punitive health exchange on the businesses and people of Idaho," said Labrador in a news release late Tuesday afternoon. "I urge all Governors to let Congress finish the job the American people sent us to do, to fully repeal Obamacare and replace it with common-sense free market solutions.”

The letter to the governors is dated June 29, the day after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the exchanges and the bulk of the law, also called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Idaho's other members of Congress, Republican Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch and GOP Rep. Mike Simpson, did not sign the letter, which was organized by Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Reps. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Jim Jordan of Ohio.

If states don't establish health exchanges as a one-stop shopping tool to help consumers purchase health insurance, the federal government will do so. In Idaho, businesses led by the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry urged the Legislature and Gov. Butch Otter to craft an Idaho exchange, but the Legislature never took the matter up because of opposition to the law.

Otter's insurance chief, Department of Insurance Director Bill Deal, presented a draft bill which was endorsed by an interim legislative committee, but a hearing was not held this year. Blue Cross of Idaho has urged Otter to call a special session of the Legislature to meet a November deadline. But Otter said last week he is not inclined to call a special session.

The texts of the news release and the letter follow:

LABRADOR JOINS DeMINT, BACHMANN, JORDAN IN WRITING ALL 50 GOVERNORS URGING THEM TO REJECT STATE HEALTH EXCHANGES

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Idaho First District Congressman Raúl Labrador joined Senator Jim DeMint (SC), Congresswoman Michele Bachman (MN-06), Congressman Jim Jordan (OH-04) and 11 other senators and fifty-nine of his colleagues in the House in sending a letter to all 50 governors urging them not to set up state health exchanges, as directed under the provisions of Obamacare.

“The first vote I cast as congressman was to repeal Obamacare. Last week’s Supreme Court ruling made it clear that Congress must complete the task of fully repealing this terrible law which the majority of Americans oppose.”

“In the Idaho Legislature, I was a proud sponsor of the Idaho Health Care Freedom Act. That law was the catalyst for Idaho's principled stand against the federal government's intrusion into our healthcare decisions. We were right then in opposing Obamacare in the courts and we are right now in our continued effort to repeal this law.”

“I urge Governor Otter to not implement an expensive, intrusive, punitive health exchange on the businesses and people of Idaho. I urge all Governors to let Congress finish the job the American people sent us to do, to fully repeal Obamacare and replace it with common-sense free market solutions.”

The June 29 letter:

National Governors Association
Hall of States
444 N. Capitol St., Ste. 267
Washington D.C. 20001-1512

Dear Governors:

The Supreme Court has ruled significant parts of the Medicaid expansion of the President’s health care law
unconstitutional as well as ruling that the individual mandate violated the Commerce Clause and will therefore
be implemented as a punitive tax on the middle class. This presents us with a critical Choice: Do we allow this
reprehensible law to move forward or do we fully repeal it and start over with common sense solutions? The
American people have made it clear that they want us to throw this law out in its entirety.

As members of the U.S. Congress, we are dedicated to the full repeal of this government takeover of healthcare
and we ask you to join us to oppose its implementation.

Most importantly, we encourage you to oppose any creation of a state health care exchange mandated under
the President’s discredited health care law.

These expensive, Complex, and intrusive exchanges impose a threat to the financial stability of our already-
fragile state economies with no certainty of a limit to total enrollment numbers. Resisting the implementation
of exchanges is good for hiring and investment. The law’s employer mandate assesses penalties - up to $3,000
per employee - only to businesses who don’t satisfy federally-approved health insurance standards and whose
employees receive “premium assistance” through the exchanges. The clear language of the statute only
permits federal premium assistance to citizens of states who create a state-based exchange. However, the IRS
recently finalized a regulation that contradicts the law by allowing the federal government to provide premium
assistance to citizens in those states that have not created exchanges. The IRS had no authority to finalize Such
a regulation. By refusing to create an exchange, you will assist us in Congress to repeal this violation
which will help lower the costs of doing business in your state, relative to other states that keep these
financially draining exchanges in place.

State-run exchanges are subject to all of the same coverage mandates and rules as the federally-run exchange.
Clearing the hurdles of crafting an exchange that complies with the 600 plus pages of federal exchange
regulations will only result in wasted state resources and higher premiums for your constituents.

Implementation of this law is inevitable and considering more than half of the American people
oppose the law, it is improbable. Join us in resisting a Centralized government approach to health care
reform and instead focus on solutions that make health care more affordable and accessible for every
American. Let’s work to create a health care system of, for, and by the people, not government or special
interests.

You can follow Idaho Statesman Politics on Twitter.

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Labradoodle, please go back the same way you came

via the Mario Boat lift. I will even give you a free inner tube and paddle so that you can float yourself back to Cuba.

Loserdor

It appears Rep. Labrador and his gang are following the adage if you can't can't win on the field you can start a fight in the parking lot.

"Let’s work to create a

"Let’s work to create a health care system of, for, and by the people, not government or special
interests."

Give me a break. He is the pawn of "special interests" not the people. Look at the contributors to his campaign. If we were to create a health care system, of, for and by the people it would go a heck of a lot further than Obamacare!

Labraloney

The Affordable Care Act does not include an employer
mandate. In 2014, as a matter of fairness, the Affordable
Care Act requires large employers to pay a shared
responsibility fee only if they don’t provide affordable
coverage and taxpayers are supporting the cost of health
insurance for their workers through premium tax credits
for middle to low income families.

• The law specifically exempts all firms that have fewer
than 50 employees – 96 percent of all firms in the United
States or 5.8 million out of 6 million total firms – from
any employer responsibility requirements. These 5.8
million firms employ nearly 34 million workers. More
than 96 percent of firms with 50 or more employees
already offer health insurance to their workers.

Less than 0.2 percent of all firms (about 10,000 out of 6
million) may face employer responsibility requirements.
Many firms that do not currently offer coverage will be
more likely to do so because of lower premiums and
wider choices in the Exchange.

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As for Medicaid, if it is not expanded, it will end up costing the state, and ultimately the taxpayers, more. For one thing, people who are not covered will simply keep going to emergency rooms for treatment. This will make the Medicaid expansion look like a bargain. Secondly, the state will lose out on increased federal dollars to help cover the additional people covered - 100% for the first 3 years, and 90% by 2020.

1. Under Obamacare, states no longer have to finance health insurance for people above 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Many states fund health insurance programs which cover residents living at more than 133 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). Obamacare makes residents at higher than 133 percent of the FPL eligible for subsidized health insurance through state insurance exchanges at no cost to states. For example, Idaho would no longer have to fund health insurance for its 63 percent of uninsured residents who are above 133 percent of the FPL, reducing its $47 million annual uncompensated care cost to $17.3 million.
2. Under Obamacare, states pay billions less to cover people below 133 percent of the federal poverty level. States pay billions in health insurance programs for residents living at less than 133 percent of the FPL. After five years of Obamacare, the federal government will cover 90 percent of insurance costs for state residents making less than 133 percent of the FPL. For the first three years of the expanded Medicaid program, the federal government will cover 100 percent of Medicaid costs. The surveyed states will save $4.2 billion (100 percent of their uncompensated care costs) annually for the first three years, and $3.0 billion annually starting in 2019. For example, Michigan pays $212 million annually in uncompensated care costs. After five years of Obamacare, Michigan would have to pay only $68 million annually in the expanded Medicaid program.
3. By making health insurance universally available, Obamacare slashes the “hidden tax” states pay in health insurance premiums. States pay a “hidden tax” in the form of higher insurance premiums to account for the cost of covering the uninsured. “By greatly reducing uncompensated care,” the Council explains, Obamacare works to “reduce this hidden tax.” For example, North Carolina would see its annual $58.6 million insurance premium “tax” reduced to reflect a much smaller number of people without health insurance.

The Republicans are lying. They have no plan. They only want repeal, then minor tweaks to the old failed system. The CBO has already analyzed their proposals, and estimated that the tweaks would only cover an additional 3 million people by 2020, vs. 30 million under the ACA.

The

Sheeeeeeeeeeeeple of Idaho elected this clown, now deal with it.

The Truth

The extremist lawmakers like to throw out the statement that the majority of Americans are against Obamacare. Is that the truth? Does anyone have any idea?

I think that Americans have expressed interest in some sort of national health care plan. We aren't interested in business as usual. The issue of health care availability can't be swept under the rug as it seems the tparty types would like to do. Has anyone seen any GOP proposals to counter Obamacare?

Whether the small government crowd likes it or not, it will take an effort by the government to make affordable health insurance available to all.

seriously?

"Common-sense free-market solutions" to health care is sort of an oxymoron. That's pretty much what we have now. Which means that the big insurance companies protect their billion dollar profits above all else while denying coverage to anyone who actually needs it, or making it so expensive, or cover so little that it's not an option for most people. I've heard our Senators suggest that the solution is just for people to be in charge of their own health plans by putting money every month in a personal HSA. Uh huh. Clearly these people have not had serious medical bills to pay in recent years. Since a huge number of Americans don't even have enough to pay their mortgage, I'm sure they will have thousands per month left over to put in their own HSA.

My friend was in the hospital through no fault of her own last year and was close to death and in ICU for months. That bill was over $1million. But I'm sure if she had just saved more money she could have paid for it just fine. And if the ACA hadn't mandated an end to lifetime limits (usually about $1mil on most policies under the old system), and she had to buy her own insurance they would have dropped her so fast it would make your head spin. So then who pays for medical care for her the rest of her life? Or should we stick with the old system and just kick her out on the street in financial ruin? Must have been her fault for getting sick anyway. Not my responsibility!

While no one likes federal regulations, the sad fact is that the ONLY way we have a hope of getting even just basic coverage for our citizens who need it is through some government control AND all of us pitching in. We may resent having to pay into a system when we are young and healthy, but one day we will very likely be the ones in need of care we couldn't afford otherwise. I'm sure some will scream "socialism!". So be it. That's what happened when Medicare was originally proposed as well, and I hate to think of the mess we'd be in without that government run health program. This "individual freedom" drum is being beaten far too loudly. We are a nation and we must work together unless we really want a survival of the fittest society, which seems to be the direction the GOP is wanting to go. That is not what this country is about. Me, myself and I. But we sure seem to be heading that way. That's not "freedom", it's pure self interest.

If your friend

Had been in Britain's health care system, she most likely would be dead. ICU for months and only $1 million? They did not ask her if she could pay, they treated her and, according to your story she lived. The system took care of her health needs. Now you wish to destroy that system. You seem want to be a slave to the collective have others make your decision. You are indeed, an Obamunist true believer.

So by requiring more people to have insurance...we'll

be destroying the insurance system? Do you even understand what's going on? You sure don't sound like it.

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart

"Requiring"

is a word that that is apparently beyond your comprehension.

You still haven't explained how it is the demise of the system.

So in your mind, if we require people to have health insurance, that woman with the $1 million insurance bill will die...cause that is what you implied, so please explain.

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart

Your illiteracy,

Is your own problem. Your free publicly supported education has apparently done you little good as an independant thinker or as an individual capable of rational thought. A self committed slave such as yourself is simply ideological chattel. Now go write some "poetry" and play with your skateboard, if you get hurt, the emergency room will not bill you before treating you.

More than an answer, your response is a collection of insults

How exactly is the ACA going to destroy the U.S. health care system?

Correction,

Well deserved insults.

I thought I would try to engage you in a discussion but you

clearly are not here to do so. Your continued trollish behavior distracts from this board and will be so noted in the future.

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart

and the other 25 million are your downfall

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You fry wants with that?

That was drugs, Mr. Murdoch. Unforeseen use!

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You fry wants with that?

Stop wasting our tax dollars...!

For a battle that these regressives have pathetically lost! They're like friggin babies! They're upset that they didn't come up with something like Obama's plan themselves. Call it a tax, call it a fine or call it a mandate... call it whatever you want. It passed. Stop crying and move on!

A minority

72 GOP lawmakers are a minority. I think it represents the lawmakers most influenced by the tparty's corporate money. If most Americans want ACA repealed, why aren't more involved? They're wasting our tax dollars with the delays and grandstanding.

They did come up wih it themselves

The ACA is a GOP bill filled with GOP ideas from the last go around under Clinton. It's a bad law because of it. We should have a single payer health care system that doesn't involve insurance companies that do noting more than siphon money out of the system and provide no service for it.

Not particularly fond of the pooch myself.....

In fact, Raul is worse than Bill Sali and Helen Chenoweth put together. Useless to the people of Idaho.....but he does hate Obama.

Give me a break..............

every one of those useless politicians already has insurance and yet they want to make sure the low-income, middle-class, elderly, and homeless don't have any. Got news for you, labradoodle, tax payers have been picking up the tab for the uninsured for years and will continue to do so if the repubs get their way. Coverage for EVERYONE is the only fair way to give us all competent health care at a reasonable cost.
Europe is dumb-founded by the cost of our outragious health system. Just look at how many Americans are seeking cheaper but just as good health care in another country. Sounds good to us.

Not even sure he hates Obama

Labrador is so much about politics that one cannot know who he really hates or likes. For that reason, he probably likes Obama, who is not much different.

Replacing Obamacare with "GOP Don'tCare"

Attaboy, Raul!

Labrador has Health Coverage...doesn't care if you do

Labrador has health coverage...the taxpayers pay for it (including coverage for his wife and children). He could care less if the residents of Idaho have this benefit. The Republican way...I have mine...that is all that matters!

Labrador has his and that's all that matters to him!

Labrador has his tax-payer paid healthcare, yet there are low-income, middle-class, elderly, and homeless GOP tax payers who will argue against affordable health care for themselves.

Labrador

Douchenozzle.

We have an objection and amendment-Sen. Massengill yields!

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You fry wants with that?

Tap Dancing Marxist Clowns

Are so entertaining when they are in a tizzy. They spin in circles and wave their hands and wish they were in Paradise, California, or Cuba where everything is "perfect" and all their needs are taken care of by others.

And fascists are just trolls with nothing to add.

If you don't like the law of the land then why don't you move someplace else? Why do you hate America so much?

Another Obamunist is heard from

And the slave is proud that his Communist Party USA dues are up to date.

We'd miss all the FLAGGING!

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YOU? YOU WANT MORE?

Oh why yes, front of the line and nice to see you

Wow

It's the law of the land. This attitude smacks of anarchism, right here in Idaho.

Patience,patience

I think every democrat in Boise posted here this morning. The good congressman is foolish to embrace these useless tactics and comes across Bachman-like. ACA will get modified dramatically by the next administration...repeal is unlikely. The bill in its present form is simply not financially feasible and moves the country one step closer to universal healthcare by the government. It creates yet another layer of entitlement (wellfare) for our society and weakens our country. Reforming healthcare has little to do with absolving people's responsibility (its current focus) and needs to focus on better outcomes, cost reduction and transparency.

Really?

get over yourself Raul. Your ego and self-righteousness are getting boring! You are clearly about YOU and not Idahoans. Your comrades, Bachman and DeMint, are cut from the same cloth as you....school yard bullies..the ACA is a huge defeat for the Tea Party....live with it!

If this act is the law,

If this act is the law, which it is, and Labrador and his fellow legislators are urging governors to ignore parts of the law, then aren't they asking the governors to enjoin civil disobedience? They are encouraging people to deliberately break a law. Should they then not be arrested, as civil disobedience has always been treated?

Mr Labrador won't be arrested because the law does not require him to do anything. But he is asking governors to break the law. Let Mr. Labrador put himself on the line.

Once again

Labrador joins with the other obstructionists to make sure nothing gets done. They have no better ideas, they just don't like the president and don't want to help him accomplish anything! In the meantime, many Americans are suffering because they can't afford the extravagant premiums required by the health insurance companies and must do without medical care. I'm in your district, Mr. Labrador, but you do not represent me in any way!

What is a Health Insurance Exchange?

The purpose of Obamacare's health insurance exchange concept is to permit small groups or individuals to band together and realize the benefits only large groups (government employees for example) have heretofore enjoyed. An insurance plan with a large number of clients helps keep premiums down and puts the group in a good bargaining position for plan benefits.

Congressman Labrador and other right wingers want to replace "Obamacare" with "GOP DontCare" purely for political reasons. They are not acting in the public's best interest in this matter. Let the Congressman know. Send him an email.

So, if Romney fails to win the election, what will we do?

How long will this faction of the GOP choose to ignore the law?

I agree that some parts of the law need to change. I believe we also need to go further with health reform but that isn't likely to happen considering our dysfunctional Congress.

Wait for the Supreme Court. Oops.
Wait for the election. What if that goes wrong also? What is the plan then?

At what point do Labrador and friends uphold the law of the United States?

The more important question-

Is, "What will you do when Obama fails to win reelection?" The Amateur is winding down to his final days in the Whitehouse, and each day his base grows smaller as the list of deceits and prevarications of "The Invisible Man In The Empty Suit" grows longer.

I say Whippet! Whippet GOOD!

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You fry wants with that?

If Obama loses

Romney has promised he will repeal the ACA/PPACA, which will be a bit of a challenge unless the GOP also wins majorities in both House and Senate. So, for the sake of argument, let's assume the GOP wins at all levels and they repeal the law. Then what?

We go back to a system that both sides admit is broken and unsustainable, but nobody will have the political nerve to make real change. Are the Republicans going to make comprehensive health care reform a priority? Doubt it. Even if they did, what kind of reform? How do they expect to actually make significant reform when Congress is so dysfunctional?

As much as I hate to say it, I think a win by Romney and the Republicans means we go back to a broken system that they don't have the ability or willingness to fix. Things will just get worse until there is some kind of crisis...increasing the chance of some kind of national health care system.

OK, I responded to your "more important" question. Now, how about the first question? What if Romney loses? Are Labrador and friends going to keep insisting that people ignore the law of the United States?

Or people will probably just shoot others like normal.

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You fry wants with that?

Perhaps,

A one size fits all Obamacare program that was passed over the objections of the majority of the American people is not appropriate for each of the States. You belong to a minority of American opinion in this health care matter. The "all Obamacare or nothing" attitudes and arguments of the minority of the opinion of the Idaho "Progressive" Dems is laughable. The mendacious Dem prevarications related to Obamacare have earned the scorn of the majority of the American people. To quote the "Amateur" currently occupying the Whitehouse, "it' a mandate, not a tax". It is the largest tax increase in history and it is soon to be Obama's legacy, "It's a BFD".

All or nothing? Funny

I'm not an all or nothing person....just the opposite. I think there are good things and bad in the law. I just prefer to try to fix the bad than go back to nothing and I have no faith at this point that the "nothing" side will get anything done.

Again, the question is....what do we do if Romney fails?

If Romney doesn't win, what will be do about the ACA? Will this faction of the GOP continue to urge people not to follow the law?

We?

Do you have a mouse in your pocket? You will be a good little Zek in your Obamunist paradise is what you will do. If you don't know what a zek is, search "zek,meaning". If Romney wins, he will be held to his promises and Medical Professionals will get serious about reforming healthcare for American citizens so as to provide access and preventative care where most needed and most effective. Have you actually read the ACA and any the 13,000 pages of regulations the Obamunist Bureaucrats have written so far? Bet'cha 20 quatloos no one has.

In the meantime, this will put the issue on record for those seeking reelection to the house. http://thehill.com/images/stories/blogs/flooraction/jan2012/repealppacaact.pdf

We don't care about that.

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You fry wants with that?

Seems like even the mouse

has a mouse in it's pocket. Maybe it's after your lithium.

Bother the other boys. You might get roughed up yet.

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You fry wants with that?