State group discussing healthcare

State group discusses healthcare

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - One group says they want all Idahoans to have access to healthcare. The group, "Close the Gap" held a news conference today.

They wanted to show the faces and tell the stories of those who benefit from Medicaid. The group even put together a book with stories from people around the state who are dependent on having access to healthcare coverage, it's called: "Why Healthcare Matters: Stories from Idahoans."

"Their very existence depends on their access to health care. With difficult and challenging diseases like cerebral palsy if they don't have access to the kind of therapy and health care that's necessary it's very difficult for them to survive," says Brian Whitlock, President of Idaho Hospital Association.

"It's important to me because without Medicaid I would basically just go into a corner and be forgotten about," says Kevin Swearingen, who is living with Cerebral Palsy.

"Amidst all the confusion at the national level, our state government is looking for opportunities to actually enhance healthcare coverage in this state and we see that as a very positive thing that we want to support and encourage. Anytime you can give somebody access to health care their quality of life is going to improve and they're going to be more productive members of society," says Whitlock.

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