Bob's Words of Wisdom

Time for a New Non-Legislative Team to Fix the Medicaid Gap Problem

In reply to an article written by Wayne Hoffman Dir. of Idaho Freedom Foundation

Can someone please tell me who picks the legislators to be on these panels because they need to do some homework? Here we have Senator Marv Hagedorn, a retired Naval Officer and former engineer and Representative Loertscher a rancher and farmer as heads of their respective legislative groups who are tasked with finding a solution to the Medicaid gap problem. Can someone tell me what is wrong with this picture? Why don’t we have someone with some healthcare experience leading these groups? Here we have a problem with medical care and treatment for those less fortunate to have medical coverage, and we put a rancher and engineer in charge of solving it.

Why does anyone think that the members of our legislature are capable of coming up with a solution to this problem when they haven’t been successful in the last two sessions. For a change how about putting some analytical minds from the medical and business community in charge of solving this problem, and I don’t mean the ones who gave us Obamacare in the form of the State Exchange Your Health Idaho. We have some very smart people in Idaho that could be tapped to help find a solution to this problem without ceding to the Federal programs which could eventually bankrupt this state.

Unfortunately most legislators never seem to think out of the box which is why 35% of our state budget comes from the federal government. In most cases all they want to do is to grow bureaucracies instead of finding a free enterprise answer to the problem. Just look back at our good friend Marv Hagedorn who in his infinite wisdom almost took us for a ride into the federal malaise of Obamacare expansion giving the Idaho Dept. of Health and Welfare a special wavier from the federal government and thus limiting the state’s ability to create a more flexible Medicaid program. By the way this is the same Marv Hagedorn who voted in the Senate to hike gas taxes and registration fees by $200 million, then turned around and voted against the lower bill cost bill which passed for $95 million to avoid bad ratings from the Idaho freedom Foundation. Marvelous Marv is a big spender and there isn’t a problem he can’t solve given enough of our taxpayer dollars to spend.

I’m sure that most of these legislators are well meaning and will do their best but they have already had three years to work on this problem and as of yet have not been able to move the ball down the field. How about taking a group of rural doctors and business people from the areas that are most affected by the Medicaid Gap problem and give them an opportunity to tell us what they need to happen in their communities to fix this problem. After all they are the ones who have to deal with these problems on a day to day basis not the legislators. What we don’t need is more influence by the Health Insurance and Medical Associations lobbyists which I fear will happen if this is left in the hands of our legislators. This is how we wound up with Your Health Idaho and skyrocketing health insurance premiums for the past 3 years, soon to be a fourth with a 27% hike on the horizon for 2017.