Letter to the Editor

Medicaid Funding in danger

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Medicaid Expansion was a hard fought initiative that passed with more than 60% of the vote in 2018. Many Idahoans depend on Medicaid and the governorís attempt to reduce funding is a direct assault on these individuals.

Itís true that Medicaid Expansion is costing more than expected this year, but this is for good reasons: COVID-19 and pent-up demand for healthcare after thousands of Idahoans went for years without access to a doctor.

Federal relief funds for COVID-19 are boosting the Medicaid budget by over $100 million per year--which is more than enough to make up for the increased costs of Medicaid Expansion.

According to a recent analysis by Close the Gap Idaho, Idahoís Medicaid budget will see a $63 million surplus this year. Thereís no financial reason to cut Medicaid. Itís especially wrong to cut Medicaid during a pandemic, at a time when tens of thousands of Idahoans are losing their jobs and relying on Medicaid as a safety net.

A healthy population means a strong economy. Keep funding whole to protect the health of so many.