Close the Gap…

Dear Editor,

The 2018 Idaho legislative session is about to end, and for the sixth year our legislators have refused to address our mounting health care costs and the health care of Idaho’s most needy citizens, those in the Medicaid gap.

What does this mean to the Idaho citizens and taxpayers? There is a great cost for those who need catastrophic care and who can’t afford to go to the doctor. Preventive care can save lives, and in the long run a healthier population saves not only lives, but is a money-saver for everyone. The ER is the most expensive form of health care, especially for illnesses that could have been treated in their early stages by primary care health providers. Idaho taxpayers and those who DO have insurance are footing 100 percent of the bill for these ER visits through our Catastrophic and Indigent Care funds.

By choosing not to expand Medicaid, Idaho is losing out on over $3.1 BILLION in federal funding over 10 years. Ninety percent of the cost of Medicaid Expansion is covered by federal dollars, and without Medicaid Expansion, our federal tax dollars are going to the states that HAVE expanded Medicaid.

Polls have shown that more than 71 percent of Idaho citizens support Medicaid expansion. Even though our leadership has decided not to address this issue, you can take action.

The Medicaid for Idaho team and hundreds of volunteers have worked all across the state to gather signatures on petitions to place the Medicaid Expansion Initiative on the 2018 ballot so that you can have your voice heard.

If you haven’t signed a petition you can sign one at Family Health Center at 606 N 3rd Ave #101, Women’s Health on Michigan St, Panhandle Glass Art on Pine Street. You can also help in this effort by volunteering at

Connie Burkhart

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