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.