LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Idaho farmers victims of terrible health care reforms

The residents of Idaho are fortunate to have their Idaho potatoes to keep them healthy. It is a necessary, but not sufficient commodity, to continue keeping them healthy. Their government is in the process of reneging on its responsibility to provide decent and affordable health care. The state refuses to allow Medicaid expansion and is offering cheaper plans not providing needed coverage.

The Idaho Department of Insurance Director, Dean Cameron claims the cheaper plans being made available, (without compliance of the Obamacare health care law) will avoid a pending market-place collapse, as healthy residents choose to go uninsured since the mandate was eliminated by Congress.

As predicted by the Congressional Budget Office, premiums are continuing to rise due to enough enrollees to fund Obamacare’s “complete package of essential services.” Once they decide to take the subsidies away for low-income people, even more citizens will be without health care in Idaho unless they buy into these cheaper plans that won’t provide them much coverage. Not insuring citizens for pre-existing conditions, raising premiums for advancing age, and based on where they live, will also be law in Idaho. This is just a terrible replacement plan.

For every 100,000 Idahoans, there have only been 184 practicing doctors in 2010 based on the American Colleges survey. And there are not enough incentives built into their budget to keep Idaho ‘s graduating doctors practicing there. Also, high tech manufacturing jobs continue to leave Idaho. The call is for greater public investment and economic development through higher education. Lacking this higher educational investment, more companies are moving in that only employ people in low-paying jobs.

Idaho ranks 40th in low-income family states with an average income of $48,000 per family. Maryland ranks first with $76,000 per family. In today’s economy, both states’ incomes per family are hardly enough to make ends meet to balance their budgets. In contrast, there are pockets of wealth concentrated in two counties, Ada and Blaine. An average of 5 percent of households there earn at least $191,000 a year. However, wealthy Americans in the top 10 metro areas earn far more than wealthy Idahoans.

Yes, Idaho is starting to take on the characteristics of a third world banana republic, one of many states not ready “to make America great again.”

This trend started in the 80s when monolithic corporations took over American industries and level playing field unions were forced out. America can begin to be made great again by providing decent health care at an affordable price for everyone. It can happen if the monolithic corporations and government bureaucrats controlling the purse strings allow it to happen.

Bill Clemens

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