Say No to Work Reguirements For Idaho Medicaid Expansion

We need everyone’s help for one final push to stop harmful and expensive restrictions to Medicaid Expansion. We have until Sept. 22 to do all we can. 

Despite Idahoans from all over the state and many legislators speaking out against these restrictions, Idaho Republicans ignored the will of the voters and passed a bill that added barriers to healthcare coverage for those who qualify for Medicaid Expansion.

Since the federal government is funding a large portion of Medicaid Expansion, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has to get permission to implement each individual restriction passed by the Legislature. 

We need your help to stop one of the worst restrictions: work requirements. 

From now until Sept. 22, the public can submit comments on the pending restrictions, and the federal government has a legal obligation to take those comments into consideration when evaluating whether or not it will allow restrictions. 

In some cases, judges have been persuaded to not allow restrictions due to a large volume of comments from the public, so if there was ever a time for us to speak out, it’s NOW.


Harry Warden: Life Long Democrat will be missed

Life long McCall Democrat Harry Warden died Aug. 13, 2019. He lived to 99 years and 8 months old and in those years touched many people in our community. He is survived by his loving wife, Lois of 78 years. 

For us Valley County Democrats he was the person in the room that represented the “Greatest Generation”. He risked his life as a bomber pilot over Burma as part of the flying tigers to defeat fascism. 

Harry was the first to give a check to candidates and causes. For those younger than Harry he gave us strength when we got discouraged. If Harry was still fighting injustice with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eyes so could we. He was our link to the honorable tradition of FDR’s New Deal that put people above money interests. 

In 2013, Harry and Lois were awarded a lifetime Democrat Award at the Annual Valley County Picnic. In 2016, Harry was concerned about coming to the Valley County Democratic Presidential Caucus. His mobility had deteriorated, but he wanted to cast his vote. With a seat arranged near the door, Harry was able to cast his vote. 

Harry was missed at the Valley County Democratic Picnic this year and many tears were shed when the attendees were told about his passing. When you get discouraged and suffer political losses, Harry’s livelong, continued commitment is a tonic to any breath of cynicism. He is dearly missed. Our love goes out to Lois and Harry’s family in this time of grief. 

Full Obituary Star News THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 2019

What an amazing and full life you have lived. A life with a million different chapters: adventures, careers, family, cities, other countries, and a special, quiet little town.

Long-time McCall resident Harry Warden, well known and beloved, died Aug. 13, 2019. Harry lived to 99 … and 8 months.

He was born January 4, 1920 in Riverdale, California, and was the only child of Harry Warden, Sr. and Hazel Clifton Warden. Harry’s early years were spent in Gardena, California, where he attended the local elementary school.

He lived in Compton, California, during his high school and junior college years and attended UCLA until joining the U.S. Army Air Corps pilot training program in 1942.

While awaiting orders, Harry met his future wife, Lois Martin, who was also attending Compton Junior College and conveniently lived right next-door to his parents.

In June 1943, he graduated from the Army Air Corp advanced pilot training program as a second lieutenant at Luke Field near Phoenix, Arizona. Harry was then assigned to Tonopah, Nevada, to train in the Bell Cobra P-39 fighters.

In December 1943, he trained in the Lockheed P-38 fighter and was then sent to join the Flying Tigers in the China-Burma-India theater. While in Karachi, India, those orders were canceled, and he ended up flying the four-engine B-24 bomber, surviving 28 combat missions, often under enemy fire.

Upon his return to the U.S., he and Lois were married in the First Presbyterian Church in Madelia, Minnesota. Harry and Lois returned to California where he was stationed in Long Beach to deliver new C-54 and B-17 aircraft being made there.

During the Korean Conflict he was recalled as a captain in the Air Force. He was stationed at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada ,and at Perrin Air Force Base in Sherman, Texas.

After the war, Harry returned to UCLA and completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees in education. He taught for 33 years for the Los Angeles Unified School District teaching in the historically under-served areas in central Los Angeles.

Harry and Lois made their homes in Tarzana, Reseda, and Westlake Village in California. Harry was a Scout Master for the Boy Scouts and his two sons became Eagle Scouts.

He taught Sunday school in California and was an active member of the McCall Community Congregational Church in McCall.

Each year Harry recounted his captivating stories of World War II with McCall middle and high school students, leaving a lasting imprint. The last 30 years of retirement were spent in his beloved McCall, enjoying the mountain scenery, fresh air, and friendly small-town life.

Harry is survived by his loving wife of 74 years, Lois, his daughter Carol Benedict and her husband Nate (Tucson, Arizona), daughter Joan Brundige and her husband Eric (McCall), son Bob Warden and his wife Janet (Louisville, Colorado), son John Warden and his wife Dianne (McCall), granddaughter Nancy Cease and her husband Craig (Littleton, Colorado), grandson Nathan Benedict and his wife Tiffany (Phoenix, Arizona), granddaughter Natalie Young (McCall), granddaughter Stephanie Young (Los Angeles), granddaughter Erin Brundige (Boise), granddaughter Katie Warden (Tulsa, Oklahoma), grandson Harry Warden and his wife Taylor (Oklahoma City, Oklahome), grandson Patrick Warden and his wife Stephanie (Arvada, Colorado), and granddaughter Ronda Warden (Denver, Colorado).

Harry is also survived by three great-grandchildren, Emily and Claire Crease, and his newest great-granddaughter Seraphina Benedict.

Harry’s celebration of life will be at the McCall Community Congregational Church, Saturday, Aug. 24, at 2 p.m. Harry was selfless, resilient, and a strong supporter of women’s rights and environmental action. He cared deeply about equal rights for all.

He has been such a good example for staying active, being engaged, and for taking care of himself.

In lieu of flowers Harry requests donations be made to the McCall Community Congregational Church, and in honor of Harry, try a signature “Harry’s Sandwich” at FoggLifter Cafe.

Thank you for always being there and thank you for loving us.

Valley Co. Commissioner Opening

Valley County Commissioner Chair Gordon Cruickshank will step down on September 30 and the Republican Party will appoint a replacement to fill the Commissioner District 2 spot until December 2020. An election where the voters will decide who represents Valley County District 2 Commissioner will be in November 2020.

Now is the time for us to consider who will run on the Democratic ticket against this appointed Commissioner. We want a candidate that belives the county commision should be a non biased oversearer of the development of the Stinite Mine site and not a one sided pro mine company advocate. We have an opportunity to develop smart growth plans on a county basis and not just be a rubber stamp to unbridled commercial development.

Dave Bingaman, District 1 County Commissioner (D) states “the main portion of a Commissioner’s job is overseeing the workings of the county offices, services, employees and related groups….Most importantly  is the interaction with constituents”  Dave see “the ideal candidate for Commissioner has to be first and foremost good at multi tasking.”

It is time for Democrats to stand up and  be counted.  It is time to consider putting your hat in the ring and run for County Commissioner. You need to be a resident of District 2 to run although the whole county votes for all the Commissioners. District 2 is the west side of Highway 55 going south to Fairbrother Lane. The proposed salary for the position is a fair wage of $62,000.

If you are interested please contact Bill Thomas, 208-339-4583  or Dave Bingaman, Valley Co. Commission for more information and support.

Real change comes when good people run for office. Now is the time you can make a difference. 

Dave Bingaman Statement on County Commissioner Opening

Bill asked me to write a little description of the Commissioner job for any that might be interested in running for the District 2 seat. It isn’t brief and doesn’t cover everything but provides a good overview. The Commissioners are responsible for a wide variety of duties.  Most importantly is the interaction with constituents.  This is one of the most demanding components of the job. Answering calls and emails takes up a good amount of time every day.  The main portion of a Commissioner’s job is overseeing the workings of the county offices, services, employees and related groups. As a part time employee that can be challenging and requires a lot of reading and research time prior to weekly meetings and making decisions on a WIDE variety of topics from P&Z issues to drafting ordinances. The Commissioners are also the point of contact for issues and agreements involving state and federal agencies which often requires sifting through complex documents. In addition, they function as the spokesmen for the county on most of the media inquiries.   Commissioners are also responsible for setting the budget each year not only for the county but also as the Valley County EMS Board for our 3 local fire and EMS departments. In addition, commissioners look for and help submit grants for projects throughout the county.  The Commissioners also must participate in a number of committees on local, regional and statewide levels which requires more meetings and often involves travel to adjacent counties.

I think the ideal candidate for Commissioner has to be first and foremost good at multi tasking.  I also have learned that you have to be pretty thick skinned when dealing with unsatisfied or disgruntled constituents many of whom are friends or acquaintances.  In addition, the ability to look for solutions from a variety of perspectives is critical.  One of the challenges for me has been patience with the process and the ability to take advice on what is possible and not possible from a legal standpoint.  You have to be comfortable being in the public eye and scrutinized with a magnifying glass.  Flexibility may be the key to success, you never know what you are going to be dealing with or making a decision on from day to day.  Finally, you need to be good at learning fast! There are so many moving parts that you have to be able to absorb as much as possible as fast as possible. If it sounds interesting or maybe intimidating, it is both.  Just know that there are resources and training available to help you get your feet under you  as you jump into the job.

If you are interested in finding out more, feel free to email or call me.  You know where to find me.

Dave Bingaman

District 3 Valley County Commissioner

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.
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. 


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


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
Facebook: @fredwoodidaho
Twitter: @FredWoodIdaho

Rep. Jarom Wagoner
P: (208) 332-1052
Facebook: @wagonerforidaho
Twitter: @JaromWagoner

Rep. Marc Gibbs
P: (208) 332-1042
Facebook : @marcjgibbs
Twitter: @MarcGibbsIdaho

Rep. Chad Christensen
P: (208) 332-1183
Facebook: @IdahoLiberty
Twitter: @chadforidaho

Rep. Mike Kingsley
P: (208) 332-1133
Facebook: @KingsleyforIdaho

Sen. Brent Hill
P: (208) 332-1300
Facebook: @senatorhill
Twitter: @Senator_Hill

Sen. Mark Harris
P: (208) 332-1429
Twitter: @MarkHarrisIdaho

Sen. Lee Heider
P: (208) 731-1631
Facebook: @lee.heider
Twitter: @leeheider

Sen. Van Burtenshaw
P: (208) 332-1342
Facebook: @vbforsenate

Sen. Abby Lee
P: (208) 332-1325
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