Labrador and allies offer states an unsound health care diagnosis

Here is a sneak preview of Friday's editorial on health care — and a letter co-signed by Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, urging governors to oppose creating health exchanges.

UPDATED, 3:11 p.m., to suggest a Republican Senate could repeal the law with 51 votes, not 60.

Raul Labrador attached his name to a piece of political fool’s gold last week.

The 1st Congressional District freshman urged the nation’s governors to just hold out and refuse to create state-run health insurance exchanges — online marketplaces designed to help businesses and individuals shop for insurance. In so doing, supposedly, they’d help Congress repeal the federal health care law.

Here’s a sample from the letter, co-signed by Labrador and 73 congressional colleagues, and sent to the National Governors Association: “Implementation of this law is not inevitable and considering more than half of the American people oppose the law, it is improbable.”

Who are these folks kidding? Governors surely know, or should know, that repeal is a political longshot. Even if Republican Mitt Romney defeats President Barack Obama in November and the GOP keeps the House, its prospects in the Senate are open to debate. The odds of Republicans getting the 60 votes needed to overcome a Senate filibuster are slim at best, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says the tax functions of the law are not subject to filibuster, and could be repealed with 51 votes.

This letter, signed by Labrador but by no one else in Idaho’s all-GOP congressional delegation, isn’t just civics-challenged. There is also something arrogant about a letter telling 50 governors how they should handle health care issues. Especially when
Romney, the GOP’s standard bearer, says he favors allowing states to craft solutions.

But that isn’t good enough for Labrador and the most fervently pro-repeal members of Congress, a group that includes Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.

These critics call exchanges “expensive, complex and intrusive.” Without substantiating their claim, they say resisting exchanges would be “good for hiring and investment.” That may come as a surprise to Idaho business groups that tried to convince the 2012 Legislature to create an exchange: groups like the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry.

And what would Labrador and his group say to those struggling to find coverage, including nearly 300,000 insured Idahoans? Nothing. Their letter — packed with poor advice to governors — offered neither alternatives nor hope to the uninsured.

The word arrogant

describes Labrador perfectly. Seems like he is trying to get as much attention as possible in order to further his own political ambitions. He doesn't seem to care about poor, unemployed and uninsured Idahoans and he doesn't seem to have any credible ideas of his own (typical Republican Tea Party member)!

Seems like he is running for governor to me.

I agree with the arrogant comment. Labrador has a job in DC. He doesn't need to tell the Governor what to do.

I think he is just using this opportunity to boost his campaign for governor.

Labradoodle, please go back the same way you came ...

I've got an inner tube and paddle with your name on it buddy. We can play Mariel Boat Lift in reverse. Go back to Cuba ¡Apúrate!


"There is also something arrogant about a letter telling 50 governors how they should handle health care issues."

There is also something arrogant about a letter, from commentator Kevin Richert, telling a congressman how he should behave. Does anyone else see the hypocrisy in this?

No, we don't

Kevin is PAID TO COMMENT on issues. Mr. Tea Party Nutter is paid to play.

Kevin is

Just another puppet on a Liberal string.

Labrador has his health insurance

He doesn't really care if other Americans have health insurance or if they can afford to purchase it. At least Obamacare addresses the problem. Republicans like Labrador would rather pretend that there isn't one. Our "illustrious" congressman will do anything to get on those Sunday morning talk shows!


Isn't it ironic that a group of far right Republicans is urging the nation's governors to slam the door on competition in the health insurance markets? The health insurance exchange removes the ability of the monopolistic Blue Cross and Blue Shields of the states to maintain their sovereign territories. I think we know who's funding these members of congress. Of course the irony involved in the Republican calls to end the insurance mandate, which they initially demanded, is one that is never discussed either. As they say, money talks, etc. etc.