Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom: Idaho Is Leading the Way Back to Affordable Health Insurance
CCHF Letter to Gov. Otter Commends His Action to Actively Protect Rights, Choices and Income of Idaho’s People; More Governors and Legislators Should Follow Otter’s Example
ST. PAUL, Minn.—As some states are pushing for their own individual mandate to purchase health insurance or be penalized, the state of Idaho is working to break free from the clutches of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF, www.cchfreedom.org) president and co-founder Twila Brase sent a letter of support and appreciation to Idaho Gov. Butch Otter last week. A separate letter to President Donald Trump and HHS Secretary Alex Azar followed, asking the Trump administration to not take any action against Idaho or the governor.
“CCHF has long called on states to remember and act upon their 10th Amendment rights to establish health insurance policies that do not conform to the Affordable Care Act, and to provide Americans with the catastrophic (true) insurance prohibited by the ACA,” Brase wrote to Gov. Otter. “Your action means the people of Idaho will be free to do what all Americans should be free to do: buy an affordable health insurance policy, including major medical insurance (high deductible, low premium). And since Idaho has the least number of mandated benefits in the country (in 2009, Idaho had 13; Rhode Island had 70), your people may also be able to experience the nation’s lowest premiums once freed from the ACA.
“We greatly appreciate your active engagement to protect the rights, choices and income of the people of Idaho,” she continued. “We sincerely hope more governors and legislators will follow your example. We wish you the best and leave you with one request: don’t blink. If someone sues to try to close the escape hatch you’ve opened, please do not back down. Americans need the flag of freedom that’s flying in Idaho to fly strong and high.”
Otter cited the right of the state of Idaho to assert its 10th Amendment authority to allow insurers to offer affordable (true) health insurance policies with low premiums and high deductibles. His “Restoring Choice in Health Insurance for Idahoans” Executive Order includes these statements:
- “I have always opposed the overreaching, intrusive nature of Obamacare and its infringement on Idahoans’ freedoms and the traditional prerogatives of the State on health care and insurance issues”;
- “Obamacare provisions and subsequent rules make health care coverage more costly…”
- “The Trump Administration showed its support for State-based solutions by issuing an Executive Order encouraging State flexibility and control…”
- “Congress and the Trump Administration recently repealed the individual mandate penalty, allowing citizens to purchase plans without being penalized if those plans do not meet all the PPACA criteria…”
- “The State of Idaho will continue to work with federal authorities … while retaining its power authority under the 10th Amendment…”
“Gov. Otter is doing exactly what CCHF has been asking states to do,” Brase said. “Using an executive order, he’s opening up Idaho’s insurance market to policies NOT compliant with the ACA. He’s opening an escape hatch from the high costs and limited choices of the Affordable Care Act. He’s not waiting for Congress to repeal the ACA prohibition against catastrophic coverage.”
Otter ordered his Department of Insurance to seek insurance options at lower costs; to “approve options that follow all state-based requirements, even if not all PPACA requirements are met, so long as the carrier offering the option also offers an exchange-certified ACA-compliant alternative in Idaho;” and to seek a waiver from HHS “if the Director believes it is appropriate or necessary.” Thus, the executive order does not require a request for federal permission. Blue Cross has already offered five new “Freedom Blue” plans.
“Idaho is leading the way back to affordable health insurance,” reports CCHF. “Its Department of Commerce is asking health insurers to sell affordable policies that do not comply with the ACA, although they must sell one policy that does. Some doubt this is legal, however, the ACA is unconstitutional and a violation of Idaho’s 10th Amendment rights. Governor Otter is restoring affordability, choice and freedom.”
In a recent eNews Commentary, Brase encouraged others who are concerned about health freedom to contact their own governor and tell him or her to draft a similar executive order that is constitutionally sound, and including this news link, as well as their two state legislators calling on them to pass a similar state law. Americans can also ask President Trump not to oppose Gov. Otter’s executive order by tweeting @realDonaldTrump or by email. Finally, Americans can also thank and encourage Gov. Otter at firstname.lastname@example.org or: Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, Office of the Governor, State Capitol Bldg., West Wing, 2nd Floor, P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720.
For more information about CCHF, visit www.cchfreedom.org, its Facebook page or its Twitter feed @CCHFreedom. Also view the media page for CCHF here. For more CCHF reports on health privacy and surveillance, visit the CCHF privacy page. For more about CCHF’s initiative to protect newborn DNA, visit www.itsmydna.org.