Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor


Partisan gerrymandering intensifies the political divide. Gerrymandering increases government dysfunction and produces myopic groupthink. Far too much time and money are consumed in re-election campaigns. Congress basically fixed the number of representatives at 435 in 1913. The 1913 US population was 97.2 million. Is it any wonder outcomes of pressing national issues are overwhelming for each representative, thus making an unelected bureaucracy too influential?

Entailing no constitutional amendment, legislate a ratio of no more than 1:50,000 versus about 1:750,000. Campaigns will cost less, congressional staffs could be smaller, and House members would represent the local citizenry. Local media would reign over partisan national media. Outside money would not have enough resource to cover this House increase. Citizens would feel less estranged from the federal government. Voter turnout would swell.

No need for a divisive futile effort of eliminating the Electoral College. Low voter turnout creates a political vacuum that is frequently filled by mobilized outside groups/money/media, which exert inordinate political influence. Voter confidence makes or breaks our republic. Local control, although imperfect, is better than top-down government. Having a ratio of 1:50,000 is by definition local control.

Gerald Weitz, Viola

Medicaid, students

The Medicaid work rule hurts college students. College students will be required to work 20 hours weekly to qualify for Medicaid. Twenty hours or more of weekly work has been shown to impair academic performance.

The Medicaid expansion does not have a meaningful education exemption. The work requirements will follow the SNAP rules: https://adminrules.idaho.gov/rules/current/16/160304.pdf, see page 54 and 55, Section 284.

About 20 percent of the students I see in the clinic have no insurance due to being too old to be on their parents’ insurance or having parents who have no insurance. Almost none of these students will be able to get health insurance through expanded Medicaid with the work requirements in place. These are hardworking, dedicated individuals who are trying to better themselves through education. They need access to health care in order to succeed and progress in life and work.

Please, remove the work requirements altogether. As that is not likely to happen, at least craft legislation that gives all individuals enrolled in full-time higher education an exemption from the work requirement.

Specifically, do not use SNAP work requirements, which require traditional college students to fulfill 20-hour work week requirements.

Ronald Solbrig, director, ISU Health Center, Pocatello

Crapo access

If only I had $15,000 to buy access to my senator – err, I mean go fishing. As for those public events Sen. Crapo touts: I believe they are held in places carefully selected to keep people like me from asking any “pointed” questions.

Gordon Barkley, Emmett