Letter: Medicaid expansion

January 25, 2014 

Why would the governor and the Legislature choose to forgo expanded Medicaid when Idaho can add 100,000 of its citizens to the Medicaid rolls and cut our expenditures by nearly $1 million a year? That’s right, according to the Milliman Report, commissioned by the Governor’s Medicaid Expansion Workgroup, we can insure 100,000 more people and save, at a minimum, $10 million over the next 10 years. That alone should make this a no-brainer.

But wait, there’s more. The Milliman Report did not take into consideration the economic impact of the additional Medicaid spending. However, the Idaho Hospital Association did. It found that expanded Medicaid would add over $600 million to Idaho economic activity and tax revenues over the next 10 years. Furthermore, it will add 16,000 jobs across the economy.

So, I have to ask, how can responsible Idaho leaders turn their back on a program that will save us money, provide medical care to an additional 100,000 vulnerable Idaho citizens and add 16,000 new jobs? If you don’t like the social benefits, just focus on the economic. This is a jobs program bigger than anything Idaho has done in years. That’s why we need to do it.

BOB WYNHAUSEN, Sandpoint

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