Critical Need: Expanding Medicaid in Idaho, #3

photo of a man smilingDave Lounsberry, Lewiston. A little more than 10 years ago, when I had a good, steady mill job here in Lewiston, I was definitely one of those “doing fine.” After losing that great job and piecing together a living with part-time work, I am now one of those treading the “fine line.”

What scares me most, at age 59, besides watching my friends die, is going without access to health care. I don’t earn enough to qualify for the health care exchange. I would be eligible for coverage under expanded Medicaid – and so would more than 78,000 Idaho residents – but our Idaho governor and lawmakers have remained hesitant about the risk of accepting federal money.

I can tell them a little bit about risk. As a former U.S. Marine, I try to keep myself in good health. But at my age, I know the possibility of getting sick or injured is very real. I could lose everything I have struggled for. Providing health care to people in need is not a risk. By accepting the federal funds we are simply saying yes to bringing our own federal tax dollars back here to Idaho where it belongs. This money will save lives and create new living wage jobs. That is called common sense.

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