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Medicaid Expansion Campaign Cites New Poll

Medicaid for Idaho

Supporters of Medicaid expansion in Idaho are gearing up their campaign.

They believe they have submitted the required number of signatures to the state. 
They are now touting a new poll that shows good support for the idea.

Ever since the Affordable Care Act became law, Idaho lawmakers have continued to resist efforts to expand Medicaid in the Gem State. The result is an estimated62,000 residents who make too much to qualify for Medicaid or too little to qualify for subsidies under ACA. The group is known as the “Medicaid Gap.”

Now, a campaign is trying to get the Medicaid expansion on the November ballot. Proponents believe they have received enough signatures to do so, and county clerks will need to verify the number by June 30.

A new poll of 600 state residents seems to show good support for the initiative.

Lauren Necocheaof the group Idaho Voices for Children says the poll showed 66% of likely voters support the idea of Medicaid expansion in the state, and even 53% of Republicans support the idea.

“And the public support for expanding Medicaid really crosses party lines. A majority of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents support closing the coverage gap,” she said.

Necochea says some of Idaho’s Republican lawmakers tried to find ways this past session to assist those in the Medicaid Gap.

“The system we have today just doesn’t make sense. And I haven’t heard anyone defend the status quo, where one family can get a tax credit to purchase health coverage, and the family next door, who might make a little less, or have another child, doesn’t get any help to cover health care costs,” she said.

Organizations supporting the initiative campaign include the Idaho Medical association, The Idaho chapter of the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association.

Steve was part of the Spokane Public Radio family for many years before he came on air in 1999. His wife, Laurie, produced Radio Ethiopia in the late 1980s through the '90s, and Steve used to “lurk in the shadowy world” of Weekend SPR. Steve has done various on air shifts at the station, including nearly 15 years as the local Morning Edition host. Currently, he is the voice of local weather and news during All Things Considerd, writing, editing, producing and/or delivering newscasts and features for both KPBX and KSFC. Aside from SPR, Steve ,who lives in the country, enjoys gardening, chickens, playing and listening to music, astronomy, photography, sports cars and camping.
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