Protect Medicaid Expansion-Submit Comments to State and Feds

Reprinted from Rebecca Schroeder of Reclaim Idaho

You Can Protect Medicaid Expansion! A Federal Judge ruled your comments MUST be considered by the State and Feds when it comes to fighting back against legislators who put restrictions on Medicaid Expansion. Click here for a simple email tool by Close the Gap to voice your opposition to the Idaho State Legislature’s “bait-and-switch” restriction to voter-approved Medicaid Expansion. What’s the best way to do that? Read on…

Do it the Right Way: You rose to the occasion during the 2019 legislative session by calling on legislators to enact the Medicaid Expansion you voted for. They ignored you. However, by law, they can’t now. Your voice should be directed to the State of Idaho and the Feds – NOT the legislators.

Summary of Restriction: The first “waiver” Idaho is seeking would allow poor Idahoans earning between 100-138% of the poverty level to retain their subsidized private health insurance plans even though they qualify for Medicaid Expansion. These “plans” often have huge co-pays and astronomical deductibles that can run into the thousands of dollars. It’s almost like not having health insurance.

How to Fight Back: Remember, you’re addressing the state and the Feds. Telling them to “do their job” won’t help. Those comments will likely be discarded. Below is a sample comment which should help guide you on how to respond – PLEASE do not copy and paste.

To Whom it May Concern:

I am writing to express my objection to the 1332 “waiver” being sought by the State of Idaho which would keep thousands of Idahoans on exchange-based health plans even though they qualify for Medicaid Expansion. My objections are as follows:

1. Medicaid Expansion provides far more reliable and valuable healthcare coverage than exchange-based plans. That’s the whole point of Medicaid Expansion. The subsidized plans come with large co-pays and even larger deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses. While this restriction is cloaked in the veil of “choice,” it is nothing more than a mechanism to confuse thousands of working-class citizens who may be denied, even inadvertently, information about the benefits of Medicaid Expansion. Also, will people be denied healthcare coverage if they stay on exchange-based plans and fail to pay for premiums?

2. It is unclear whether thousands of working Idahoans will be given a real “choice” about whether to stay on subsidized plans or switch to Medicaid Expansion. I am concerned about the transparency and availability of information regarding this “choice.” If working Idahoans don’t have access to the pros and cons of subsidized insurance versus Medicaid Expansion, then the “choice” is a false one. As such, I would encourage you to deny this waiver as requested. 

3. Finally, there is the cost. While it is difficult to predict the factors that will contribute to a decision to stay on the exchange, it is almost certain that maintaining access to a federal tax credit, rather than moving this population to Medicaid will result in a higher cost to the federal government than straight Medicaid expansion.

Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely _____ 

Nancy HarrisCandidate for U.S. Senate
Meet and Greet
Wednesday, June 26, 11:30 am- 1 P.M.
Bistro 45, McCall

Nancy Harris is running in the Democratic Primary to replace Jim Risch and would love to meet people from Valley County as she starts her campaign for U.S. Senate. Folks can get lunch, beer, wine, coffee at the Bistro to help them out for being so supportive of us over time.
SAVE THE DATE
Valley County Democratic Picnic, Wednesday, August 21, 6-8:30 pm, Woodlands Development Picnic Area, McCall. 

Valley County Dems Highway Cleanup- Sunday, June 9th, 4:30 pm- Elk Creek Church

Dems stepping out to Cleanup Highway 55 in earlier cleanup

Valley County Democrats will hold their spring Highway 55 Clean Up on Sunday, June 9, at 4:30 pm. All Democrats and friends are invited to participate and should meet in the south parking area of Elk Creek Church, 14102 Highway 55, McCall, shortly before 4:30 pm. Participants should bring hats, sunscreen, water, and gloves. Safety vests and trash bags will be provided. After the clean up join Valley County Democrats at Home Town Pizza in McCall for a no host social time. For more information contact Jim Arp at 634-5833. 

RSVP

Huddle to Save Medicaid Expansion- Thursday, March 14- 6:30 pm at Cafe 6 three 4 1304 Roosevelt McCall

We’re in the final weeks of the legislative session, and it’s time for one final push to protect the will of the voters. Idaho legislators have proposed dangerous restrictions–including work requirements–that would strip health coverage from thousands and waste millions of taxpayer dollars. 

Come out and join Reclaim Idaho’s new Executive Director, Rebecca Schroeder as we strategize and get organized to save Medicaid Expansion.

There will be wine, beer, hot drinks and pie for sale.

Sponsored by the Valley County Medicaid Expansion Committee

Jon Glick and Bill Thomas, Co-Chairs

RSVP

Contact Legislators to Protect Medicaid Expansion

News from Reclaim Idaho

Today we have good news and bad news. Let’s start with the good news:

We are hearing word from inside the Capitol that Representative Zollinger’s dangerous Work Requirements bill is dead and will not receive a hearing. 

Now more than ever, it is clear that your work is paying off. Let’s take a moment to celebrate what you, together with our statewide movement of supporters, have achieved over of the past four months:

  • Election Day: Medicaid Expansion was enacted by a landslide, with 61% of the vote statewide and with a majority of the vote in 29 of 35 legislative districts
  • Advocacy Day: 300 Reclaim Idaho leaders and supporters rallied at the steps of the capitol, and volunteers held over 40 in-person meetings with legislators from nearly every Idaho district
  • Upheld by Supreme Court: The Idaho Supreme Court upheld Medicaid Expansion and dismissed challenges to the citizens’ law as “meritless”
  • Repeal fails: Two bills to repeal Medicaid Expansion proposed by Representative John Green were rejected by the House Health & Welfare Committee
  • Funding moves forward: The Idaho legislature’s Joint Finance & Appropriations Committee voted unanimously to fund Medicaid Expansion, paving the way for floor votes in the House and Senate
  • Work Requirements bill fails: A proposal to add costly and harmful Work Requirements to Medicaid Expansion dies without a hearing

Our grassroots campaign to protect the will of the voters is working!

But we’re not finished. Here’s the bad news: We’ve received word that, early next week, several Idaho legislators will propose yet another bill that would add dangerous restrictions to Medicaid Expansion. Like Zollinger’s failed bill, the next bill will include costly and harmful Work Requirements, and it will likely include several other dangerous restrictions.

Please call or email the legislators listed below and tell them you oppose Work Requirements and all other dangerous restrictions. 

Here are some sample messages you might use when making calls and writing emails, and below you’ll find contact info for key members of the House and Senate Health & Welfare committees:

  • “Work Requirements would restrict care for the 62,000 Idahoans who need it most. Voters cast their ballot for a full expansion, with no additional restrictions or red tape.”
  • “According to a new poll, 74% of Idahoans want to see an unmodified implementation of Medicaid Expansion. Please oppose Work Requirements and implement a clean expansion.”
  • “Healthcare is on the way for 62,000 of our family, friends, and neighbors. I would urge you to abide by the will of the people and not obstruct the healthcare that thousands of Idahoans need.”
  • “I want to urge you to oppose adding unnecessary Work Requirements to Medicaid Expansion. Lets not replicate the same wasteful and ineffective Work Requirement bill that has failed in other states.”
  • “Work Requirements have been shown to be ineffective and would result in thousands of Idahoans losing coverage–not because they don’t meet the requirements, but because of navigating an expensive and confusing bureaucratic system. In Arkansas, Work Requirements resulted in nearly 17,000 people losing coverage.”
  • “Kaiser Health News has estimated that Kentucky’s Work Requirements will cost $187 million in the first six months alone.”

Rep. Fred Wood
P: (208) 332-1074
E: fwood@house.idaho.gov
Facebook: @fredwoodidaho
Twitter: @FredWoodIdaho

Rep. Jarom Wagoner
P: (208) 332-1052
E: jwagoner@house.idaho.gov
Facebook: @wagonerforidaho
Twitter: @JaromWagoner

Rep. Marc Gibbs
P: (208) 332-1042
E: mgibbs@house.idaho.gov
Facebook : @marcjgibbs
Twitter: @MarcGibbsIdaho

Rep. Chad Christensen
P: (208) 332-1183
E: cchristensen@house.idaho.gov
Facebook: @IdahoLiberty
Twitter: @chadforidaho

Rep. Mike Kingsley
P: (208) 332-1133
E: mkingsley@house.idaho.gov
Facebook: @KingsleyforIdaho

Sen. Brent Hill
P: (208) 332-1300
E: bhill@senate.idaho.gov
Facebook: @senatorhill
Twitter: @Senator_Hill

Sen. Mark Harris
P: (208) 332-1429
E: mharris@senate.idaho.gov
Twitter: @MarkHarrisIdaho

Sen. Lee Heider
P: (208) 731-1631
E: lheider@senate.idaho.gov
Facebook: @lee.heider
Twitter: @leeheider

Sen. Van Burtenshaw
P: (208) 332-1342
E: vburtenshaw@senate.idaho.gov
Facebook: @vbforsenate

Sen. Abby Lee
P: (208) 332-1325
E: alee@senate.idaho.gov
Facebook: @abbyleeforidaho
Twitter: @SenAbbyLeeThank you so much for your ongoing support.

-The Reclaim Idaho Team

Mat Erpelding addresses Tacos and Politics Event Feb. 9 at Pueblo Lindo, McCall

Mat Erpelding, Idaho House Minority Leader at Taco and Politics, Saturday, Feb. 9th, Pueblo Lindo, McCall Idaho
Mat addressing capacity crowd at Taco and Politics event
Dave Bingaman, Valley County Commissioner sharing county issues with Mat
Listening to Mat at Taco and Politics event

Mat talked about the attempt to change the redistricting commission from a bipartison commission to a Republican partisan controlled effort by adding a 7th member who would be a republican representative. Our model of 3 Republicans and 3 Democrats is a model throughout the country. The Democratic Members of the House Affairs Committee walked out of the committee when Republicans on that committe proposed without full hearings this drastic change in our constitution. Mat stated that he has begun to a protest of this blatant power grap by reading every bill that comes up on the floor which grinds the legislative process to almost a standstill. These two actions has forced the Republicans in the house to vote to send this atrocious bill back to committee. Stay vigilant!!!!

Mat gave an update on the Medicaid Expansion effort and thanked people throughout the state who came to the legislature last week lobbying for Medicaid Expansion without any barriers. Hundreds lobby Legislature Feb. 4

The audience had many other questions of Mat on other important issues facing the state. From roads to public access to our public lands.

Idaho Voters demand No Restrictions, implement what we voted Yes on Medicaid Expansion.

Tell Lawmakers No Barriers to Coverage: From “Close the Gap”

We expect multiple bills to be introduced on Thursday that would add restrictions to Medicaid and could prevent Idahoans from getting the coverage they need. See this article for more information. “Vander Woude expects to introduce two versions of his proposal on Thursday: one with about a dozen limitations and another with a few handpicked restrictions that he thinks might have a better chance of passing.” We will provide more information to you as it comes.

In the meantime, it is crucial to make your voice heard to our lawmakers. Idahoans voted to close the coverage gap, not create another gap by adding restrictions to Medicaid. Tell them that you oppose barriers to coverage and bureaucratic red tape that will result in Idahoans losing coverage. Our email action tool targets the members of the Health and Welfare committees where these bills would originate. Click the button below to let lawmakers know your opposition.
Take Action Now
Add Your Name to the Letter Opposing New RestrictionsClose the Gap is sending a message to legislators: The Idaho way is what Idahoans passed on November 6th. We are collecting signatures for a letter to legislators to oppose adding costly barriers to coverage to Medicaid.With lawmakers actively looking to introduce measures this week to limit Idaho’s Medicaid expansion, it is important that we express this widespread opposition to legislators. We are counting on you to take action by signing on today. If you have not yet been able to sign please click here to sign on, and share the link with friends and colleagues.

Taco and Politics- Saturday, February 9th- 4 pm- 5:30 pm at Pueblo Lindo

Mat Erpelding, House Minority Leader

The Idaho Democratic Party “Taco and Politics Tour” will be in McCall on Saturday , February 9th at 4 pm- 5:30 pm at Pueblo Lindo, 1007 W. Lake Street, Mccall. Please join House Minority Leader, Mat Erpelding  who will discuss the 2019 Idaho legislative session and answer questions from the public.

Our Democratic Legislators want your input on the important issues facing Idahoans: Medicaid Expansion, Education, home owner property tax exemption equity,  to name just a few. Bring your questions, concerns and comments on the topics that matter most to you.

A early dinner and drinks will be available from the regular menu.

************************************************************************

Monday, Feb. 4, 8 am to 4:30 pm
Idaho State Capital
Constituents from all over Idaho are invited to meet with their elected officials to tell them to honor the will of the voters and fund the unaltered law passed by an overwhelming majority of Idahoans.
Sign Up to participate

Postcard Writing Party for Medicaid Expansion. Wednesday, Jan. 23- 6 pm Bistro 45 Side Room

The People have spoken. Legislators fully fund Medicaid Expansion without revisions

Tell our District 8 Legislators to follow the will of the people and make sure Medicaid Expansion is fully funded and without any revisions. 

Food and drink will be available for purchase.

Jon Glick will perform his new song, “We’re Comin’ for Ya Jessica” a song dedicated to Jessica, a young women Jon met last summer in Salmon Idaho who along with 60,000 others need Medicaid Expansion.

Federal Government Shutdown hurts Valley County

If you are fed up with Trumps antics and the closure of our Federal Government, call our Idaho Senators and Representative to get off the dime and open the government. 

Senator Crapo: 202 224-6142
Senator Risch: 202 224-2752

Russ Flucher: 202 225-6611.

Valley County Moving Forward.

Medicaid Expansion Gets 67% Yes votes in Valley County and Passes Statewide.

 

From Dave Bingaman
THANK YOU to all of our supporters. We could not have done this without you. I look forward to thanking each of you individually yet, for now, I want you to know how much I appreciate your efforts in our campaign, your vote, and your support.

**************************************************************************************************************

I want to take this moment to reflect and thank all of you who have supported me in my campaign for House seat 8A. We could not have done what we have been able to do without the help of so many of you across Dist. 8. I wish I could say I now represent you all as Rep. Glick, but I am extremely pleased that with your help, we got Prop 2 passed for the 62,000! I am very gratified by this, having worked on the Expansion Initiative for some 10 months. I just talked to Luke M this afternoon and he informed me that Prop 2 Passed in ALL 5 counties in Dist 8!!!!!!!!!! Good work all! It has been my and Bonnie’s pleasure to get to know so many good folks across Dist 8. We will consider you all friends for life now. All of your relentless support has been humbling for me. I truly believe that we have elevated Idaho and our compassionate causes to a new level from which we cannot retreat. We have grown the party and lit fires of enthusiasm and activism. Reclaim Idaho is not going away either. They will just be looking for their/our next cause. (So rest up!) Where this leaves me I do not yet know. To have had the privilege of working with you all has been an inspiration to me. We need to keep this going. We have a powerful message of which we can all be proud. We have been a part of making history in Idaho-and making Idaho a more compassionate state for which I am exceedingly happy and grateful.Thanks to ALL of you, again, for your trust and belief in me, and for your tireless support. Well wishes to you all.

Jon Glick