Medicaid expansion remains the best plan for Idahoans

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Members of the Idaho Legislature are spreading rumors that Medicaid expansion will throw thousands of people off health insurance and leave them with inadequate healthcare. The truth is that Idaho’s proposal for a “coverage choice” ( allowing people with incomes from 100-138% of poverty to choose between Medicaid and private plans) was deemed incomplete by the federal agency CMS, saying that even with revisions, the proposal “would not be approvable.”

Surprise. No one will lose coverage through Medicaid expansion which expanded eligibility. 42,000 Idahoans have been approved for Medicaid Expansion this month, including my friend and daycare-center owner suffering from a serious cancer. And Medicaid expansion is fiscally responsible: Compared with the plan being pushed by House Republican leadership, Medicaid expansion is estimated to save Idaho $42.5 million per year.

An op-ed also claimed that the grassroots organization that collected signatures for the initiative is a “paid-signature-gathering group” from out-of-state. I personally gathered several hundred signatures by standing in front of the Sandpoint Library in February and March in the snow and cold. I was not paid, except by the smiles of the people I met. Luke Mayville and Garrett Strizich, founders of Reclaim Idaho, grew up in Sandpoint. They are Idahoans who are helping us reclaim Idahoans’ rights to health, education and public lands.

Our voices are not being heard. We need to be louder. Please join me in calling our governor and legislators. Ask them not to support the coverage choice provision.

NANCY GERTH

Sagle

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