According to an analysis by University of Idaho economist Steven Peterson, if Idaho adopted the health coverage expansion in 2014, the new spending on health care services and its ripple effects would create 16,337 jobs in the state – living wage jobs that allow families to make a living without relying on public assistance. An estimated 11,825 of these jobs will be in the state’s health care industry. The other 4,512 will be spread across a range of industries.
The new report – Expanding Health Coverage with Federal Funds Will Create Economy-Boosting Jobs in Idaho — was released by Idaho Community Action Network and prepared by Alliance for A just Society.
Idaho resident Dave Lounsberry said the combination of Medicaid expansion, bringing health care to 88,000 more Idahoans, and the creation of thousand of more economy boosting jobs is the best possible scenario for Idaho families. Lounsberry lost a steady mill job in Lewiston 10 years ago and has been piecing together a living since
“I am treading a fine line,” said Lounsberry. “What scares me most, at age 58, is going without health insurance. I don’t earn enough to qualify for the health care exchange. With a better paying job I wouldn’t need Medicaid at all. It’s a great opportunity, but our Idaho governor and legislators don’t think working with the Federal government is worth the risk. I can tell them a little about risk. At my age, I know the possibility of getting sick or injured is very real. I would lose everything I have struggled for. Providing expanded Medicaid to people in need is not a risk. It’s called common sense,” said Lounsberry. “Economy-boosting jobs, are jobs that allow workers to earn enough to cover the basics, put money in people’s pockets to spend in local businesses, expand local purchasing power, and boost the economy. It’s time for some common sense Idaho. It’s time to say yes to saving lives, yes to boosting the economy, and yes to creating jobs. It’s time to say yes to the Medicaid expansion!