The Washington Times - January 31, 2013, 03:34PM

A Republican state senator in Idaho has compared the rollout of President Obama’s health-care law to the Holocaust, saying insurance companies may be “creating their own tombs” if the federal government decides to hoodwink them in the future.

“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,” state Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll said in comments she send out via Twitter last week.

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“Several years from now, the federal government will want nothing to do with private insurance companies. The feds will have a national system of health insurance and they will pull the trigger on the insurance companies,” she predicted.

The “exchange” refers to state-based marketplaces in which qualified consumers can use tax subsidies to shop for insurance plans. States may opt to set up their own exchanges, giving them the freedom to tailor it to their residents and decide which plans are accepted into the exchange, or ask the federal government to run one for them.

Republican leaders in nearly half of the states have declined to set up their own exchange. But Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, a Republican, said last month he wants the state to operate its own exchange.

“Our options have come down to this: Do nothing and be at the federal government’s mercy in how that exchange is designed and run, or take a seat at the table and play the cards we’ve been dealt,” he said in explaining his decision.

The Spokesman-Review newspaper reported that Ms. Nuxoll also sent out her “Holocaust” comments to 120 email accounts on Jan. 23. It also reported that Ms. Nuxoll is defending her analogy and quoted her as saying: “I felt badly for the Jews — it wasn’t just Jews, but Jews, and Christians, and Catholics, and priests. My thing was they didn’t know what was going on. The insurance companies are not realizing what’s going to end up is their demise.”

Within the last 24 hours, Ms. Nixon posted an online message that asks for the public’s reaction to her comments.

“My question to [the Spokesman-Review reporter] and all of you is; would it be any different had I changed the subject matter from Jews to Catholics?” she said in the posting. “Or any other group of people that were victim to annihilation? Well, I leave it to you. What do you think?”

Ms. Nuxoll asked observers to “stop and reflect” on her central message — that private health insurance may be a “nonviable option if the Idaho legislature passes the state exchange.”

“It will take a few years for this to happen, but it will happen,” she said.