What does the initiative specifically do?
The initiative expands Medicaid to Idahoans who make up to 138% of the federal poverty level. That includes individuals making up to $17,000 a year, or a family of three making up to $29,000 a year.
How much will it cost and how will it affect our state budget?
Our state and county budgets are already bearing the cost of medical care for Idahoans who don’t have insurance. A fiscal analysis commissioned by the Idaho department of Health and Welfare showed that because Medicaid expansion would reduce the costs to existing state and county programs, it could result in a net savings of over $15 million dollars a year. By returning nearly $400 million of our tax dollars back to Idaho, we can keep rural hospitals open, create jobs, and boost our economy.
How have other states been impacted by Medicaid expansion?
While opponents of Medicaid expansion have tried to politicize this issue, 33 other states (including 17 states led by Republican governors) have already implemented it for a simple reason- it works.
In 2015, our neighbors in Montana expanded Medicaid through a bipartisan effort. Since then, nearly 100,000 people have gained access to healthcare– many for the first time. In Arkansas, expansion is projected to have a net positive impact of $637 million on the state’s budget. In Kentucky, uncompensated care dropped by 60 percent in just six months, helping rural hospitals keep their doors open. In Colorado, Medicaid expansion has generated more than 31,000 new jobs, increasing the average annual earnings per household by $643.
Proposition 2 will deliver similar benefits for Idahoans.
Can it pass?
Absolutely. More than 66 percent of voters said they would vote in favor of the initiative in a recent, professionally conducted poll. That’s because this initiative lets Idaho voters declare, in no uncertain terms, what we want in health care. It tells our elected leaders that we are standing up for tens of thousands of Idahoans who lack access to quality health care.
Who is behind this initiative?
A broad coalition of Idahoans support the initiative, including business owners, doctors, nurses, law enforcement officials, and teachers. Click here for a list of organizational endorsements.