(JTA) — An Idaho state senator compared insurance companies cooperating with Gov. Butch Otter’s proposed health insurance exchange to “Jews boarding trains to concentration camps.”
Sheryl Nuxoll made the statement in a message sent to 120 email addresses and posted on Twitter, the Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Wash., reported.
“Much like the Jews boarding the trains to concentration camps, private insurers are used by the feds to put the system in place because the federal government has no way to set up the exchange,” Nuxoll said in her message.
Nuxoll defended her analogy, saying that just as Jews were put on trains during the Holocaust, health insurance companies are clueless about what will happen to them.
“I felt badly for the Jews – it wasn’t just Jews, but Jews and Christians and Catholics and priests,” Nuxoll told the Spokesman-Review. “My thing was they didn’t know what was going on. The insurance companies are not realizing what’s going to end up in their demise.”
Idaho Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill defended Nuxoll.
“This is a very emotional issue for a lot of people,” Hill said. “As we get closer to making [the] decision, the rhetoric’s going to get more dramatic."
Health insurance companies in Idaho have supported Otter’s plan to create a state-based insurance exchange rather than use the exchange being set up by the federal government, according to the Spokesman-Review. The exchanges will be organized online marketplaces allowing people to search for a health insurance plan.