Seven months after Your Health Idaho began operating, there are still myths and misunderstandings circulating about our state-based health insurance marketplace. Speaking as president of the Idaho Association of Health Plans and a member of the board of directors for Your Health Idaho, it’s time to set the record straight.
Syringa Hospital & Clincs (SHC) is commemorating a “Diamond Jubilee” year in 2014. Any healthcare enterprise or organization that’s been in existence that long owes a huge debt of gratitude to those who created, sustained, and adapted it to meet the constant necessity of change.
Our communities are connected chains of neighborhoods — from the people next door, to the familiar faces on our block to the businesses on Main Street.
The indicators are all around us: mailboxes brimming with campaign material, candidate forums and signs springing up along the highway and in front yards. It is election season once again.
By Idaho County Commission
As unbelievable as this may sound, your U.S. Forest Service, in partnership with the Nez Perce Tribe, is going to straighten Crooked River. That’s right. Straighten it. We’re $17 trillion in debt but have millions of dollars to straighten rivers. Historical rivers. Natural rivers.
Beginning last year, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-South Dakota) and I held a series of in-depth hearings on how to reform our broken housing market.
With the generosity of Idahoans in our communities, it comes as no surprise that Idaho ranks among the top states in its rate of volunteerism. The boundless charitable spirit of Idahoans is worthy of recognition and praise.
The family is the basic unit of society, the most local unit of government. Parents are the primary educators of their children. Parents may delegate this responsibility to whomever they trust. From the founding of our nation, parents have chosen the type of schooling that best fitted their children’s needs, based on personalities, family lifestyles and beliefs. The schools in our country were varied, having different aspects of education. No school was exactly the same. Choices of education ranged from public, private, parochial, homeschooling, to tutoring.
Opinion by Stephen Akerman
I am always struck at how people use the good health impacts of medicine to justify forcing individuals to accept a government mandate. Ms. Margaret Henbest, and other supporters of Your Health Idaho, are doing just that (“Essential Benefits will help state residents stay healthy, control costs,” Feb. 5, Idaho County Free Press).
Very soon we will be in full swing as the election cycle kicks into gear once again. 2014 will prove to be a big election year with many local and state races beckoning voters to get out to the polls. Although the May primary may seem a long way off, here are a few things to keep in mind right now, as there are some early deadlines to pay close attention to.
Our country faces serious challenges
I watched President Obama’s State of the Union speech interested to see what his view is on the current condition of our nation and the challenges he plans to address in the weeks and months ahead. President Obama’s current economic approach seems to include adding to the tax and spending increases that have caused much of our nation’s serious challenges.
End corp income or grocery taxes
If Idaho lawmakers want to do something really bold and useful this legislative session, I have two suggestions. One of these is doable this legislative session, depending on how lawmakers proceed. Option one: Eliminate the tax on groceries. Eliminating the sales tax on groceries would save Idahoans somewhere around $170 million a year. This sounds like pretty tough and, perhaps, insurmountable public policy to put in place.
For me, it began with a “light bulb moment” during a September 2013 presentation by Melissa Sanborn, owner of Colter’s Creek Winery & Vineyard and a commissioner with the Idaho Wine Commission. She showed a map entitled “Idaho Growing Regions” with three circled areas in the state of Idaho. Melissa said the Snake River Valley has official American Viticulture Area status, the Lewis Clark Valley is working on AVA status, and the area around Riggins and White Bird has potential. While her presentation focused on the Snake and LC valleys, my mind kept going back to the idea that the Riggins/White Bird area has wine grape growing potential.
The recent op/ed [Dec. 25 issue] by State Democrat party chairman Larry Kenck represents the contrast by those who think a centralized bureaucracy 3,000 miles away can best manage our state affairs, and those who believe it is time to take control of our own destiny as a state.
An important event for my family is the annual Christmas tree hunt. Up in Idaho’s Panhandle, it can mean a day-trip as far as you can get down a logging road or a short walk beyond your backyard.