Opinion

Medicaid expansion is a win for Idaho’s neediest

Idaho’s health insurance coverage gap

A legislative working group convened in 2016 for a day-long meeting on Idaho's "Medicaid gap" - people who do not qualify for Medicaid, but also do not make enough money for assistance through the state health insurance exchange.
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A legislative working group convened in 2016 for a day-long meeting on Idaho's "Medicaid gap" - people who do not qualify for Medicaid, but also do not make enough money for assistance through the state health insurance exchange.

The Idaho Statesman’s Proposition 2 editorial that ran on Wednesday 10/17/18 was factually incorrect when it included dual waiver 1332 and 1115, which are not part of the ballot proposal. The editorial has been corrected below.

Idaho is finally poised to take a big step in addressing our state health care and insurance system: Covering more people who don’t have and can’t afford health insurance; slowing the overall rise in health insurance costs; and reducing un-reimbursed and indigent care that falls to county and state governments, that gets written off as bad debt and that drives too many people into personal bankruptcy.

The Idaho Statesman supports Proposition 2 to cover Idaho’s “gap population” estimated between 51,000 and 62,000. It’s a plan that gets us closer to covering all Idahoans while keeping control and authorship in our state. Experience is the best teacher and Idaho will learn much as it undertakes its own plan.

The expansion plan has the broad appeal of helping not just those in the gap and not just those who get government assistance or subsidies, but covering the working-poor of Idaho.

The state will be able to take advantage of federal dollars available to expand health insurance coverage, funds to which Idahoans are contributing with their federal taxes.

Expanding coverage will let people get care up front rather than wait for urgent and emergency care that is more expensive for them and for the system. Best of all are the benefits that come from keeping people healthy or helping them bounce back from mental and physical illness, able to work and care for their families. The plan is a win for Idahoans, a win for individuals and companies who purchase health care in Idaho, and a win for the leaders who demonstrate that Idaho can work together to do right by its citizens.

Unsigned editorials represent the opinion of the Statesman editorial board
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