Last updated on: 9/8/2010 | Author: ProCon.org

Walt Minnick, JD, MBA Biography

Title:
Former US Representative (D-ID)
Position:
Con to the question "Is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) Good for America?"
Reasoning:

“My complaint about the health care bill wasn’t the insurance reform. I think you can make a good argument that expanding Medicaid for people who really have no wherewithal for insurance and making insurance affordable for people who are the next tier up the economic ladder is good social policy. And the new exchanges will bring more competition into the market — in my state, we have two dominant companies. Blue Cross and Blue Shield between them own 70 percent of the market share in Idaho. The exchanges also will help to level the playing field between small groups and big groups. And I point out to small businesses that these exchanges should make it possible for them to buy insurance as competitively as the federal government and other large employers.

What I disagree with is, I want it paid for — and I absolutely dispute whether it really is paid for. The half a billion dollars of future Medicare cuts is a mirage. The only thing Congress has been absolutely consistent on in the last 20 years, whether Republicans are in charge or Democrats are in charge, is we never do Medicare cuts when we’re faced with them! And the second reason I was opposed to it is the biggest problem is not how you make insurance affordable, it’s how you control costs. And aside from demonstration projects, almost none of the things that you have to do to control costs are in that bill.”

“A Democrat Takes On His Party’s Health Care Reform,” www.nytimes.com, Aug. 3, 2010

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • US Representative (D-ID), Jan. 2009- Jan. 3, 2011
  • Member, US House Agriculture Committee
  • Member, US House Financial Services Committee
  • Co-Founder and former CEO of SummerWinds Garden Centers, 1996-2008
  • Former President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), TJ International, 1974-1995
  • Recipient, Idaho State University’s Idaho Businessman of the Year award, 1991
  • Former Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Board, Bogus Basin ski area
  • Co-Founder and former board member, Idaho Business Coalition for Education Excellence
  • Former Chairman, Board of Trustees, Albertsons College
  • Former Chairman, Boise State University Business School Advisory Council
  • Former Chairman, Board of Trustees, College of Idaho
  • Former Deputy Assistant Director, White House Office of Management and Budget under President Richard M. Nixon
  • 1st Lieutenant, US Army (Vietnam War)
Education:
  • JD, magna cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1969
  • MBA with high distinction, Harvard Business School, 1966
  • BA, summa cum laude, Economics, Whitman College, 1964
Other:
  • Born on Sep. 20, 1942 in Walla Walla, WA
  • Legal name is Walter C. Minnick
  • Married to A.K. Lienhart-Minnick
Quoted in:
  1. Will the cost to fund public health programs such as Medicare and Medicaid decrease?