Expansion after state legislators had refused to act on it for years. It was a grassroots movement that clearly stated the will of the people. Pretty straightforward, right? Not so fast. Our lawmakers decided to ignore the KISS concept of “keep it simple stupid” and attach waivers to what should have been a clean bill.
The current waiver under consideration is a paperwork requirement that has wrongly been called a “work requirement.”
The reality is the vast majority of people who would be covered by Medicaid Expansion already work. This waiver requires them to fill out paperwork reporting their hours and if they don’t do it properly they lose their coverage.
At first glance it may not seem like a big deal. So, let’s look at Arkansas, a state that tried this kind of waiver. Arkansas instituted work reporting and 19,000 people lost their coverage. Not because they didn’t qualify for Medicaid Expansion but because they filled out the paperwork wrong or were never informed that they needed to.
A federal judge has overturned work requirement waivers for Arkansas, Kentucky, and New Hampshire. Work requirements don’t work, but our legislators insist on implementing them anyway. Not only will approximately 26,000 Idahoans not be covered, they will once again have to resort to emergency room care they cannot afford which will lead to further economic hardship, a less healthy population, and an increase in medical bankruptcies. Exactly what voters said they didn’t want. In fact, a recent poll shows that 74 percent of Idaho residents want a clean bill, no waivers. The funds needed to create a new bureaucracy will cost tens of millions of dollars. Those funds would be better spent on schools and roads.
There is now a public comment period that lasts until Sept. 26 for email and regular mail. The feds say public comments must be taken into consideration. This is your opportunity to stand up for your neighbors’ healthcare and the will of the people. Take 10 minutes and make a comment. More information and a link can be found at: https://www.closethegapidaho.org/take.../take-email-action/