The good stuff

Idaho Mountain Express —

Wrongheaded and lunatic legislation more often than not gets the headlines when the Idaho Legislature meets every winter in Boise. The statehouse too often is a dark thicket of tangled and prickly ideologies that strangle good ideas and good public policy.

Even so, this year some good ideas may survive committee hearings for general consideration and other good ideas actually may see the light of day.

Getting beyond the “nay” votes of legislators that often alternate between skepticism and overreach in the use of government power is no easy thing, but it looks like some good public policy that deserves bipartisan support may be getting traction this year. Here’s some of the good stuff.

Reining in medical debt pile-on: A bill pushed by a wealthy eastern Idaho businessman would stop medical bill collectors from piling mountains of penalties and charges on medical debts. It would also attempt to require health-care providers to make bills clear and easily understood, which is a tall order.

Billionaire Frank VanderSloot reportedly got behind the limits after an employee’s $294 medical bill morphed into $5,500.

The House Business Committee saw it his way and endorsed the bill 15-2. If it survives, the bill would give confused and sick Idahoans some oxygen and keep their families from smothering under excessive debt collection fees.

Read the full story on Idaho Mountain Express.