Almost one year to date since Idaho’s historic landslide vote to pass Medicaid expansion, open enrollment for tens of thousands of Idahoans has begun. Actual coverage is scheduled to begin Jan. 1, 2020.
Medicaid expansion is expected to bring healthcare access to about 70,000 Idahoans around the state, return $400 million in federal funds, and create thousands of jobs in the process.
“This is truly an historic day for the state of Idaho and the thousands of families who will feel more secure now that they have reliable access to quality healthcare,” said Luke Mayville, Co-Founder of Reclaim Idaho. “This is Idaho’s greatest legislative achievement in a generation and the people of Idaho get the credit for that.”
The drive to get Medicaid expansion on the November 2018 ballot started with a local campaign to pass a school levy in Sandpoint. From there, the effort grew into a statewide movement which drew thousands of volunteers and led to the formation of Reclaim Idaho. Once the grass roots organization succeeded in getting the initiative on the ballot, they continued to travel across the state knocking on doors encouraging people to vote to expand Medicaid.
“The volunteers all across this state made the difference between success and failure of the Medicaid expansion initiative,” added Rebecca Schroeder, Reclaim Idaho’s Executive Director. “They were there from the very beginning and continue to fight for a clean Medicaid expansion program in Idaho. They’re making a huge difference in the lives of thousands of Idaho families.”
“Clean” Medicaid expansion passed with 61 percent of the statewide vote. Since then, however, lawmakers tacked numerous restrictions onto the legislation. One restriction has already been rejected by the federal government while another is almost certainly going to be challenged in court.