Dear Mr. Olson,
When my husband and I moved to the Sandpoint area in 2002, the future looked bright. At last we had the home in the country he’d wanted for so long. But five days after he retired he was diagnosed with stage-three cancer. An aggressive treatment plan was laid out, including regular dialysis and chemotherapy. As we reeled from this news, he said it was going to be very expensive, and he was so sorry. Fortunately, I’d continued my health insurance after retiring, and it also covered him, so we’d be OK. That conversation made me realize that no desperately ill person should have the added anxiety of how to pay for vital medical help. And that is why I’m helping gather signatures on petitions to get Expanded Medicaid on the statewide ballot in 2018.
In Idaho, 78,000 people fall into the Coverage Gap (they earn too much for Medicaid but too little to get help buying insurance on the state health exchange). They are friends and neighbors, working in day cares, restaurants, construction, and the public sector, going day to day without affordable access to health care. Surely we can do better. Thirty-two states already have Expanded Medicaid. Two others have grass roots efforts similar to Idaho’s.
Please give voters statewide a chance to vote on this. Petitions are available at Family Health Center (Pinegrove building, 606 N 3rd, #101), Women’s Health Center (1215 Michigan), and Panhandle Art Glass (514 Pine St.). Thanks.