Wednesday, September 5, 2012

‘Ottercare’ is not ‘Obamacare’


Wouldn’t you like to have healthcare insurance, too? I’m talking to minimum-wage workers not lucky enough to be covered by their employers, and self-employed farmers, artists, and single moms who can barely work enough hours to buy groceries and cover the rent. 

Under The Affordable Care Act, the federal government will pay to expand Medicaid insurance to adults earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($31,809 for a family of four). States gradually will pick up only 10 percent of the cost by 2020. No small business with 50 or fewer employees will be required to get insurance for their workers, and those with 25 employees or less who do decide to insure their workers will receive a tax subsidy for their generosity. 

Sadly, we are dominated by Republicans who refuse to implement the Medicaid expansion, even though it is free to Idaho for three years and 90 percent free after that. They even balk at having an Insurance Exchange where employers can comparison shop for the best price and get a tax subsidy. 

Instead, Governor Butch Otter commissioned a wasteful committee to “study the issue,” appointing insurance industry players and the likes of tea party zealot Wayne Hoffman with their preset partisan notions to cover his backside. Just call whatever we get Ottercare.

Sherrie Goff

Pocatello




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