Idaho Supreme Court Challenge to Medicaid Expansion
by Brent Regan
As the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case considering the constitutionality of Proposition2, Medicaid Expansion I had the privilege of having a front row seat to some of the finest legal arguing I have ever witnessed as presented by attorney for the plaintiff, Bryan Smith. I am not an attorney, but I am skilled at recognizing sophistry and mendacity. Bryan’s arguments were logically water tight. I walked out of that building convinced that he had presented the best case possible. Should we lose, it won’t be due to inferior legal Kung Fu.
In stark contrast was Assistant Chief Deputy Attorney General Brian Kane. Keeping in mind that the Attorney General’s job is to defend Idaho law, Mr. Kane actually made the argument that I did not have standing to bring my case to the Supreme Court because the duly passed and enacted law that said I had standing was…wait for it… unconstitutional, even though it had never been challenged. WOW.
After the hearing, the first and most asked question was “How do you think the Justices will decide?” The simple answer is “I have no idea.” It is impossible to discern if a question posed by a justice is because they are looking for support or opposition. My opinion would be based on mind reading, which I am really bad at doing. I can say that if the justices decide based on the legal arguments presented, we win. However, that decision would require considerable intestinal fortitude. Giving the finger to Uncle Sam’s blandishments requires a rarefied stratum of courage.
The good news is that the justices seemed to appreciate the urgent nature of the case and we can hope to get a decision quickly, perhaps within 2 weeks.
Here is a transcript of the speech I gave immediately after the hearing:
There has been much rhetoric about his case and what it is about. Let start with what it is not about.
This case is not about the fact that Medicaid expansion costs 2 to 3 times estimates every other state where it has been tried.
This case is not about the fact that Prop 2 will give taxpayer funded health care to able bodied, high net worth people.
This case is not about the fact that Prop 2 will leave less money for schools, police, roads and infrastructure.
This case is not about the fact that Prop 2 will lead to higher taxes for all Idahoans, or drive our country further into debt to be paid by our children and their children.
It’s not about taking precious resources from the most needy Idahoans.
This case is not about the fact that Prop 2, once we submit to expansion, we will never be able back out without permission from our federal masters.
This case is not about the fact that Prop 2 was supported by big medicine so they can continue to have high premiums, high deductibles and charge $20 for an aspirin.
If Prop 2 is so good for Idaho, why did so much money to pass it come from outside our state?
This case is about none of these facts.
This case is about Idaho’s sovereignty;
About Idaho not surrendering legislative authority to faceless federal bureaucrats,
About the powers granted through the Idaho Constitution to the legislature to craft law,
And about how the citizens can use the initiative process to assume powers of the legislature,
And about how that power cannot be given to another, especially a federal bureaucrat even if a majority of voters agree
This case is about how we have a republican form of government that doesn’t oppress the minority at the insistence of the majority
This case is about, as Justice Roberts observed, how ‘Idaho is a sovereign state and sometimes we must act like it.’
This is one of those times.
Regardless of what happens here, the fact remains that our healthcare is broken.
Broken because Obamacare created the Medicaid gap.
Broken because 3 of 4 healthcare dollars is spent on middlemen, not doctors or medicine.
Broken because the average Idaho family could buy a new car EVERY YEAR with the money they pay in insurance and deductibles that doesn’t go towards health care.
Broken because you have to go to a doctor to get permission to go to another doctor.
Broken because you can’t take the health insurance you like with you when you change jobs.
Broken because it is illegal for pharmacists to tell you that the drug you are buying with insurance and a $40 co-pay you could buy cash for $20.
Broken because the government has colluded with big medicine, big insurance and big pharma to fix prices, shut out competition, and avoid transparency
Broken because everyone in the medical industrial complex gets richer as costs skyrocket. Everyone but you, the patient.
How do we fix broken health care.
Do you see a doctor every day? No.
Do you eat every day? Yes.
Do you want single payer food? Pay a tax and get a big block of government cheese.
You wear clothes every day. Should we have single payer clothing. Pay a tax and get Orange jump suits for free. One size fits all.
How about single payer housing? Pay a tax and live in Caprini Green for free. Just remember to duck when you hear gunshots.
How about single payer transportation? Pay tax ride the bus for free.
Because that’s socialism, like in Venezuela where they were forced to eat their Zoo animals.
The free market is the answer.
The answer is less government not more government.
The free market has made quality food so plentiful and cheap that a major health risk among America’s poor is obesity.
The free market has created devices that live in our pockets and give us access to nearly every other human on the planet and virtually all of human knowledge.
The free market has created cars that drive themselves, sights and sounds to entertain, and devices to attend to every need.
Why would you think that the free market couldn’t provide better healthcare at a lower cost, just like it has for everything else.
All that is required from the government is to set the rules and referee the game…. but never to carry the ball.
We now have progressive activists who take a free market Uber while wearing free market vegan clothing so they can sit in a free market coffee house sipping their free market double caff- latte looking through their free market Lasix corrected eyes over their free market rhinoplasty nose with its free market piercing at their free market tablet connected to the free free market internet on their free market twitter where they are free to demand….demand that your healthcare be socialized. That you be denied choice. Knowing full well that in all of human history socialism has consistently been a spectacular failure every time it was tried and has resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of people.
The invincible hubris of these people is shocking.
They can’t even run their own lives but they want to run ours.
No thank you.
The Idaho Freedom Foundation stands with every Idaho citizen and demands the government stop the perverse incentives that drive up costs
Stop the pointless over regulation.
Stop the crony capitalism.
Stop taking our hard earned dollars and freely handing them to healthcare middlemen.
Stop getting in the way and blocking competition and choice.
IFF will work tirelessly for the day where Idahoans spend half of what they’re spending now and get better healthcare. A day when the savings not only go to improving the quality of your life and that of your family but also for those truly in need we can help them so they can make their own decisions in the free market
Just like we do now with food. Foodstamps and EBT. We help them pay to buy the same products available to everyone.
The solution is not to put more people in an overloaded lifeboat.
The solution is to let the free market build us all a luxury cruise ship.
We have the solution right before us. All we need to do is let it out of the bureaucratic cage government has built for it.
Idaho Freedom Foundation is dedicated to making this happen.
Please join us.
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