As medical students with a future in Idaho, experiences with the health care coverage gap are concerning. Through our individual clinical experiences, we’ve seen the combined effect of Medicaid’s low ceiling, coupled with astronomical insurance premiums and deductibles for the working class. Psychiatric, pharmacological, dental and basic preventative care have gone by the wayside for most Idahoans as premiums have skyrocketed, but affordable subsidies remain unattainable. Care for the poor is important, but should not jeopardize health care for the rest of the state. As students with families, the costs of private/subsidized health care double or triple our incomes, while an income of just $400 monthly will disqualify a family from Medicaid. Health care needs to be reformed, but in a positive direction for everyone contributing.
Please consider the necessity of either expanding access to Medicaid services or restructuring the exchange to work for Idaho’s working class, with reasonable deductibles at attainable cost. Rethinking health care reform in favor of an affordable construct is vital for all of us, and must be at the forefront of our minds as we approach the polls this November, and in subsequent congressional elections.
Colby Brower, Courtney Swantek and Jason Wallentine, Idaho WWAMI students, Moscow