Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Medicaid, Bieter’s letter, climate change

Medicaid

I am disappointed, but not surprised, that the Idaho Legislature will likely impose work requirements and possibly other bureaucratically intense requirements as conditions to qualify under any Medicaid expansion to be adopted by the state of Idaho. The Kaiser Family Foundation has found that “only 6 percent of adult #Medicaid enrollees targeted by states’ new #workrequirements are not already working and are unlikely to qualify for an exemption.”

Such requirements are administratively burdensome and costly in terms of staff time and operating expenses. This would certainly be economically inefficient for such a small segment of the Medicaid population because reporting and tracking mechanisms would be necessary for 100 percent of the adult population. The hoops could be easily missed, causing potentially tragic loss of care.

I understand the desire to adopt expansion “in an Idaho manner,” and Idaho is rightfully proud of its state health exchange as part of the Affordable Care Act. What I hope is that Governor Little, legislative leadership and chairs of the germane committees be presented with the Kaiser Foundation’s report “Implications of Work Requirements in Medicaid: What Does the Data say?” This report can be found at kff.org.

Jerry Quick, Boise

Bieter’s letter

Mayor Bieter’s explanation for his letter requesting leniency for Faucher was heartfelt. Clearly he is grieving and found guidance in his faith. While the letter to the judge was a private act, his published explanation was a public act as mayor of Boise. As mayor, his written explanation contributes to the conditions that allow sexual violence to occur and unfortunately continue. As mayor, where was his statement of concern for community members who have been victimized by sexual violence? As mayor, where was his statement of assurance that he monitors and addresses sexual harassment in the city of Boise agencies? As mayor, where was his statement of outrage at the institutions that did not address sexual violence and exploitation, especially of children? Mayor Bieter’s explanation was all about him, was all about the “sick old man.” Such individual approaches contribute to victim silence and diminished trust in leaders to actively work to create the conditions where people feel safe and valued. Ultimately, Mayor Bieter’s explanation for consideration of leniency is an example of the ways in which our culture perpetuates sexual violence. I am hopeful that Mayor Bieter will engage in intentional actions that address gender inequality in all its forms.

Sharon Paterson, Boise

Climate change

With the recent IPCC report telling us that climate change is a serious and immediate threat, we must make changes or there will be serious consequences.

Everyone is part of the problem, so everyone must be part of the solution. No one has any excuse not to make this a high priority in their daily lives. We all drive, buy things and eat, and all of these things contribute to the threat. It is time for all people to start living more sustainably. The government is shamefully and embarrassingly refusing to protect the world from climate catastrophe; therefore we must hold them and ourselves responsible.

It will take effort. All of us must drive less. We need to walk, bike, transit or carpool to our destinations. We must also vote responsibly, supporting those willing to act on climate, while shunning those who ignore the science. In addition, we must hold corporations responsible. Eating less meat or better yet going vegan would be a massive help in reducing carbon emissions, given that it’s the most polluting industry besides oil.

If we fail to do these things, we will truly be remembered as the most shameful generation to walk this planet.

Mitch Kohler, Meridian

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