The federal health reform adopted in 2010 builds on a number of strong components of our health care system. One of these components is the Medicaid program which provides comprehensive, affordable health coverage to approximately 210,000 Idahoans.
However, Medicaid is not only a health coverage program. It is also an economic engine. Medicaid spending supports health care industry jobs in Idaho’s counties and directly purchases goods and services. These direct health care purchases trigger further cycles of earnings and purchases that ripple throughout the economy, affecting individuals and businesses not directly associated with health care, and generating jobs, income, and economic activity. Medicaid’s contributions are particularly important in rural areas, which would face even more severe strains without the boost Medicaid provides. Continue reading