Idahoans have a right to their own stupidity. They have a right to be irresponsibile, they have a right to fail to prepare for emergency and they have a right to dump the bill for their stupidity on their neighbors. That's what the Idaho State House of Representatives said on a 52-18 vote yesterday, in passing the Idaho Health Freedom Act.
Forget for just a minute the absurdity of passing a law banning federally mandated insurance that doesn't even exist. Or the incongruity of "protecting" citizens from insurance mandates while mandating your own. Or the malignity of hoarding money for a phantom lawsuit when some people are struggling to put food on the table.
Forget all that for just a minute.
Think about this. Right now your neighbor who doesn't have insurance and ends up in an emergency room without any way to pay is sticking you, the taxpayer, with the bill. And the Idaho Legislature has drafted legislation that is all but assured of being signed into law protecting your neighbor's ability to continue sticking you with the bill.
Now there may be many understandable reasons why your neighbor doesn't have health insurance, most of which are addressed in the proposed federal legislation--issues of cost, availability and accessibility. But maybe your neighbor is just willing to take a chance that he'll never need health insurance. And if his actions affected only him, he'd have every right to make that choice. The problem is, his action or inaction affects all of us when we end up having to pay off his losing bet.
Free health care . . . pretty sweet if you can get it.
The Idaho Health FreeDumb Act is one of the most partisan, ill-conceived, potentially damaging pieces of legislation the legislature has considered in awhile and the Idaho Legislature has chosen to protect your neighbor's right to be irresponsible and stick you with the bill. In the name of freedom. Stick that in your teabag.
Sheesh, next thing you know, the legislature will be asserting state's rights to opt Idahoans out of Social Security and Medicare.