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Op-ed: Idaho turns back on ‘working poor’

In  an op-ed piece in the Idaho Statesman, Nicole Sorensen, an assistant professor at the College of Southern Idaho, writes:

The Affordable Care Act, signed into law on March 23, 2010, sought to expand health coverage using a three-prong approach: expanding Medicaid to cover the poorest members of society (those falling 138 percent below the federal poverty line); providing health insurance subsidies for those with low to medium incomes (100-400 percent of the federal poverty line) who lacked access to employer-sponsored health plans; and mandating that all individuals have health insurance. Republican Gov. Butch Otter rejected the Medicaid expansion in 2013 and again in 2014. Idaho stood to receive more than $7 billion in federal assistance to cover health care costs for the more than 78,000 adults who currently do not qualify for Medicaid or for subsidized private insurance, often referred to as the “working poor.” With budget shortfalls and increasing Medicaid enrollment, the Idaho Legislature has sought to curb spending on the backs of the poor. More here.

Question: Do you know what the term "death by poverty" means? You'll probably be hearing it a lot during the 2016 Legislature. Thoughts?

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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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