Top Idaho politicians divided on health care ruling

Top Idaho politicians divided on health care ruling

Idaho's Statehouse



Posted on June 28, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 26 at 3:14 AM

BOISE -- Idaho's top-ranking Republican politicians largely condemned Thursday's ruling by the Supreme Court to uphold President Obama's controversial health care reforms.

However, Idaho's top Democrat at the Statehouse largely approved of the measure.

Thus far, Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter has been noticeably silent on the issue.

Read about the Supreme Court's decision here.

Those reforms -- a collection of laws known as the Affordable Health Care and Patient Protection Act -- were deemed constitutional in a split decision by the high court just after 8 a.m. M.D.T.

Jim Risch                                          Mike Crapo

Risch and Crapo condemn the decision

On the heels of Thursday's decision, Republican U.S. Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch both quickly criticized the decision. Both senators said they believe upholding the law won't successfully combat the rising cost of health care in the U.S.

"Today's decision is very disappointing, and it is not the ruling that the American people wanted," Crapo said in a prepared release.

Risch said he believed upholding the law under congress' tax authority was a flawed plan.

"Those who voted for this, every Democrat in Congress, should join us in repealing this massive tax increase and replace it with a reasonable and understandable plan," Risch said.

Raul Labrador

Labrador: 'America's forefathers would be appalled'

Republican Congressman Raul Labrador released a statement saying he felt America's forefathers "would be appalled" at the ruling, largely due to its intrusion on the personal freedom of Americans.

"This should frighten all Americans who believe in freedom and liberty," Labrador added.

John Rusche

Idaho's top House Democrat expects lower costs

Howver, not all Gem State political heavyweights were opposed to the ruling.

House Democratic Minority Leader Rep. John Rusche is a retired physician from Lewiston. Rusche told KTVB he believes the decision will help cut health care costs for Idahoans in the long-run.

"I think it means that we have an opportunity to move forward to deal with the issues of cost, quality, and access that have plagued the American health care system," Rusche told KTVB.

Rusche said he views the measure as a way to increase the number of insured health care consumers in Idaho's health care system -- further dividing the cost of health care by more people -- and thereby decreasing the cost.

"My expectation is that Idaho is one of the places that sees a significant cost change," Rusche said.