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Opinion

Expand Medicaid, Idaho

Would you be in favor of creating 16,000 new jobs, saving taxes and producing healthier Idahoans? Such an opportunity is presented to the Idaho Legislature now with the introduction of Rep Thomas F. Loertscher’s Medicaid expansion bill in the House on March 14.

Gov. Butch Otter’s task force voted 15-0 in favor of this expansion, and here is why: One, it saves Idaho money. The expansion of Medicaid to mostly single adults currently without insurance will cost Idaho taxpayers $284 million over the next 10 years if rejected. However, the federal government’s payment will bring in $290 million to the state over that time.

Two, expansion creates 16,000 new jobs, and economists estimate Idaho will gain approximately $616 million in sales, property and income taxes. Three, if Idaho doesn’t expand Medicaid, we will still pay the same federal taxes. These tax dollars will flow to surrounding states that have expanded Medicaid. Four, produce healthier Idahoans. Multiple studies demonstrate two things help improve health the most: a regular doctor and health insurance.

Ask your legislator to vote in favor of Medicaid expansion.

Scott Dunn

Sandpoint


 

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