[Vision2020] Conservative group files suit to halt Proposition 2

Moscow Cares moscowcares at moscow.com
Thu Nov 22 01:41:07 PST 2018

Courtesy of today’s (November 22, 2018) Lewiston Tribune.


Conservative group files suit to halt Proposition 2
Idaho Freedom Foundation argues Medicaid expansion is unconstitutional, and voters didn’t understand what they were supporting

The Idaho Freedom Foundation filed a lawsuit with the Idaho Supreme Court on Wednesday challenging the constitutionality of the recent voter-approved Proposition 2 that expands Medicaid coverage.

The petitioner, Brent Regan, filed the lawsuit against Secretary of State Lawerence Denney. It asks the court to “address an issue that strikes at the heart of the constitutional balance between an initiative’s lawmaking power and that power’s conferring an unconstitutional delegation of authority” to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, which would administer the provisions of Proposition 2.

Idahoans approved the Medicaid expansion initiative during the Nov. 6 election by a nearly 2-1 margin, reflecting growing frustration with the Legislature’s inability or unwillingness to address the health care needs of the estimated 62,000 working adults in the Medicaid gap population.

The statewide initiative extends Medicaid eligibility to anyone earning less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Based on the vote — with 364,861 in favor, compared to 237,276 against — it was one of the most popular items on the ballot this year, passing 61 percent to 39 percent.

“Unfortunately there were a lot of problems in the initiative and the media didn’t really look into those ahead of the vote,” Dustin Hurst, communications director for the Idaho Freedom Foundation, said Wednesday. “So Idahoans really didn’t know what they were voting for.”

Hurst said the “progressives” who pushed the initiative “wrote an unconstitutional bill. We believe it’s proper to protect the Constitution, and that’s why we want our day in court.”

Proposition 2 promoter Dan J. Schmidt, of Moscow, said Wednesday night he understands that the Freedom Foundation “is disappointed in that they lost in their opposition to Proposition 2. I do not see how the people exerting their will is unconstitutional. In terms of giving too much power to the Department of Health and Welfare, the initiative gives very limited direction to the Department of Health and Welfare as to what they should be doing. I’m sorry (the Freedom Foundation) feel(s) so bad about losing.”

According to the complaint filed by Bryan D. Smith with the Idaho Falls law firm of Smith, Driscoll and Associates, Proposition 2 is “unconstitutional and … should not be in any way enforced or enforceable.”

The lawsuit maintains that the Department of Health and Welfare is unqualified to implement the expansion, and that the proposition “creates in the Department of Health and Welfare uncontrolled, unrestricted and unguided discretionary power that exceeds constitutional limits.”

The petition lists a number of other reasons the proposition should not be enforced and asks for an award of attorney fees, expenses and costs.

Hurst said the foundation is supported financially by “Idahoans who are concerned about the future of our state. And they are also concerned about the future of hard-working families who will be asked to pick up the bill for this Obamacare expansion.”


Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

"Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

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