The Idaho Statesman recently published a commentary by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator who stated that people on Medicaid should work. I agree with her on this point for the 33 states that have expanded Medicaid; however, this argument holds no water in Idaho. Governor Otter decided that Idaho should not expand Medicaid. This means that Idahoans who currently earn less than $3,468 annually qualify for Medicaid. If they earn more, they lose their healthcare. Idahoans who make above the poverty line of $12,140 qualify for subsidies to buy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Working Idahoans who earn between $3,468 and $12,140 a year do not qualify for any healthcare and obviously cannot afford to buy private health care. Medicaid expansion will cover this gap. Many young Idahoans do not have healthcare and may work two or three part time jobs. Medicaid expansion will increase the number of people insured and reduce health care costs for all of us. We need 56,000 signatures in order to put Medicaid Expansion on the ballot in November. Let the voters decide to keep our federal taxes here and cover our working poor.
Jean Weingartner, Boise