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Proposition 2 is on the ballot for Idahoans to cast their vote about whether Idaho’s Medicaid should be expanded or not.

According to 2018 proposed ballot initiatives supplied by the Secretary of State of Idaho, Proposition 2 will seek to make Medicaid available to those who are younger than 65 and who are slightly above the poverty line.

Proposition 2 is the state’s enactment of the Affordable Care Act signed into law in 2010. The ACA promises to provide additional federal funding to any states seeking to expand their Medicaid.

Proponents of Proposition 2 believe this act will cover the Medicaid gap, those who can’t afford health care but don’t fall in the current qualifications for Medicaid.

According to Idahoans for Healthcare‘s website, expanding Medicaid will not only cover this gap but will cut state spending on health care programs and save over $15 million dollars a year.

The website states that voting yes to Proposition 2 will create more than 5,000 new jobs in the state of Idaho and generate more than $20 million in new tax revenue annually.

They cite other states such as Montana and Arkansas who have expanded Medicaid and have seen positive results.

“In Kentucky, uncompensated care dropped by 60 percent in just six months, helping rural hospitals keep their doors open. In Colorado, Medicaid expansion has generated more than 31,000 new jobs, increasing the average annual earnings per household by $643.”According to Idahoans for Healthcare website.

Opponents of Proposition 2 believe this act will cost taxpayers more money than the benefits provided as well as increasing the national debt.

“Expansion will cost Idaho taxpayers $105.1 million…. the experience in other states suggests that Milliman’s estimates, which have changed over time, likely underestimate the impact to taxpayers,” said Fred Birnbaum, Vice President of the Idaho Freedom Foundation.

Birnbaum said the funding for expanding Medicare would be borrowed money that would only add to the national debt.

“If voters elect to expand Obama’s Medicaid, our children and grandchildren will bear the burden of a bigger national debt,” Birnbaum said.

IFF also points out that expanding Medicaid will increase the likelihood of people abusing the system and misusing taxpayers dollars.

To register to vote on this issue and others, visit idahovotes.gov. The last day to register to vote online or by mail is Friday, Oct.12. The last day to register in person is Tuesday, Nov. 6.


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