As part of the Affordable Care Act, states were offered the chance to expand Medicaid for their poorest citizens, with the federal government picking up the tab. Gov. Otter and our other elected officials in Idaho chose not to accept this offer and instead allowed 78,000 of its citizens to be without coverage.
Other states chose to accept this offer. Montana’s Medicaid expansion program has saved the state health department more than $30 million since its start in January 2016, officials said. The program covers some 84,000 residents and has paid for $574 million in health care services since it began.
Voters in Idaho are now being given the chance to decide this issue via a ballot initiative to appear on this November’s ballot. This issue will expand Medicaid to Idahoans who earn less than $16,000 per year if they are single, and $22,000 a year for a family of two. It is 90 percent funded by the federal government and will ensure that federal tax dollars we currently send out of state will remain in Idaho to help other Idahoans.
Bonner County residents can sign the petition at Women’s Healthcare at 1215 Michigan St., Suite C, or at Panhandle Art Glass, 514 Pine St in Sandpoint. To find out more about how you can help, contact www.medicaidforidaho.org.