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Letters to the Editor

Tue., Dec. 31, 2013, midnight

Veterans need Medicaid option

I am an Idaho Navy veteran, writing in support of the Medicaid expansion bill that would afford coverage to veterans who currently are excluded from receiving Idaho government-assisted Medicaid benefits.

In Idaho, many veterans live in rural areas that are not served by the Veterans Affairs health care or they simply do not qualify for services. Having spent my early years in the Idaho Panhandle, I understand the rural nature of Idaho and how it can take hours of driving to reach areas that may have medical services.

If a veteran has a health issue and they are not covered by the current system(s) private health care insurance or Medicaid, they often avoid seeking care with a qualified medical practitioner. The reason that they do so is simple: They can’t afford to pay out of pocket for health care.

I think that the state of Idaho has a duty to honor and support our veterans, especially those who have struggled for many years with financial and health-related issues just because they served. I am asking as a fellow veteran and Idahoan that you write your Idaho lawmakers to act on this legislation for the good of Idaho.

Paul Kalb

Bonners Ferry

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