MEDICAID: Expansion mandate

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Medicaid Expansion is crucial for our state and I believe the only way we can finally get 78,000 Idahoans covered is by getting it on the ballot in 2018.

According to the 2017 Idaho Public Policy Survey, roughly 70 percent of Idahoans favor closing the health care gap and think it’s important for our Legislature to address this issue. While the majority of us want our Legislature to act, they don’t.

FDR once said, “Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a president and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.” It’s time for us to exercise our right to participate in our government.

The 15-member work group of Idaho citizens appointed by Governor Otter to research Medicaid Expansion universally supported expanding Medicaid coverage to the working poor. One quote from the report illustrates the economic benefit, “The analysis presented by the IHA shows approximately 16,000 new jobs could be generated by the influx of additional federal dollars from the expansion. These new jobs, along with the multiplier effect of related economic activity, could contribute approximately $615 million in sales, property and income taxes over 10 years.”

If we truly care for our community and if we love our neighbors, we must do all we can to lift them up and give them a fighting chance in Idaho. Let’s do what we can to get this on the ballot.

CHRISTOPHER MATTHEWS

Post Falls

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