BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - A former Tea Party politician from Caldwell is in hot water for health care comments he made to a national news organization.
Greg Collett was featured in an article by NBC News about the Affordable Care Act. The two-time GOP candidate for the legislature is being tagged a hypocrite for telling a reporter he's against government health care, even though he has 10 children who are covered by Medicaid.
Collett doesn't hide that he is against a number of government programs, even though he says we can't escape them.
"There's just a lot of programs," Collett said. "Government is so entwined in our lives that you can't necessarily extricate yourself from it
NBC News interviewed the self-employed software developer for a story about people who refused to sign up for the Affordable Care Act. Collett says he doesn't think that government should be involved in health care, but he admits that all of his children are covered under Medicaid.
In response, thousands of online comments have popped up, bringing a reaction that Collett says he wasn't expecting.
"The reaction has been overwhelming from the standpoint that there is a lot of hatred out there," Collett said.
The 41-year-old said he understands why people find that choice confusing, and that many times he doesn't see eye-to-eye with people.
"If people want to have their opinions that's perfectly fine," Collett said. "Call me a hypocrite, you're entitled to do that. It doesn't necessarily bother me, I just want to get my message out there."
Colett posted a lengthy response to the article and to the backlash on his website. He says in an ideal world, many government programs wouldn't exist, but because they do, he thinks people should be able to take advantage of them.
"When I participate in government programs, it's not necessarily because I agree or disagree with the program," Collett said. "If I were to take that stance that 'if I disagree with a government stance then I absolutely don't participate in it, I wouldn't be married, I wouldn't have kids, I wouldn't have property. I mean, I wouldn't have a life."