BOISE, Idaho, March 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Idahoans buckling under soaring health care costs didn't get any help from the Idaho State Senate tonight. In fact, with the passage of the Idaho Health Freedom Act (House Bill 391), they may have just made matters worse.
AARP has made tonight's vote part of its "accountability vote" efforts: The Association will track and report the roll call and inform all of its 180,000 Idaho members how their Senator voted.
While across the state Idaho residents are being hit with soaring insurance premiums, leaving over 100,000 people to spend more than 25% of their income on health care, tonight they received another roadblock to relief. The legislation not only could spell disaster for Idaho's current health care system, it could also cost the state federal matching money that allows Idaho to provide needed health care for the state's children and families.
"This legislation will do more harm than good for Idaho, is full of unintended consequences and brings home the divisiveness and fighting that have kept Idahoans from the health care solutions they need," said Jim Wordelman, State Director for AARP in Idaho. "This legislation does nothing to address the health care crisis facing hundreds of thousands of Idahoans and everything to make that crisis worse."
Idahoans are currently seeing their health insurance premium increases soar into double digits – these premiums are expected to double in the next few years. In Idaho, over 220,000 people are uninsured, that number is expected to soar as more of the state's unemployed lose health care benefits. 213,000 older Idahoans are stuck in the Medicare Part D "doughnut hole" where they are paying 100% of the cost of the prescription drugs, forcing many to skip taking their needed medications.
"AARP commends the Idaho Senators who did what was right and took a stand against this disastrous bill," added Wordelman. "Those who voted in favor of this bill voted to make Idaho's health care problems worse for children, families and the elderly."
The legislation could have severe and unintended consequences and is strongly opposed by AARP because it:
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|SOURCE AARP Idaho|
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