Health

Medicaid expansion ballot initiative launches Saturday

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - A new group called Medicaid Expansion for Idaho (MEFI) will launch a ballot initiative Saturday.

Its goal is to close the "medicaid gap," which includes over 50,000 Idahoans who earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to receive federal help buying insurance on the Affordable Care Act exchange. Although the Idaho Legislature has reviewed the issue for several years, it has yet to take any action.

According to MEFI Bonneville County Leader Leslie Smith, of Idaho Falls, there are 1,000 county residents who fall in that gap. 

"They're working in restaurants and stores," said Smith. "They're self-employed, part-time, or seasonal workers.  Small businesses don't always have the revenue to offer insurance. But employers and employees both would rather everyone can get medical care when they need it instead of working sick or having to take time off, or losing their job because they can't get healthy."

Smith said Idaho law requires signatures from 6 percent of registered voters, or 56,000 signatures, to get the question on the ballot. 

The Bonneville County initiative will kick-off with a training and signing event at the Idaho Falls Public Library at 457 W. Broadway from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

You can view the formal petition and find additional information here.


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