In November 2018, voters across Idaho chose to help their low-income friends and neighbors without access to health insurance by expanding Medicaid. During the 2019 Legislative Session, the Senators and Representatives we sent to the statehouse appropriated funding to expand Medicaid. However, legislators also added “sideboards,” or restrictions on who has access to this vital program.
One of the restrictions they supported was work reporting requirements. On the surface, this makes sense, low-income, able bodied adults that can work, should work. However, this superficial look at the restriction ignores the actual reality of people’s lives.
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If you look at the individuals who make up the population that would qualify for expanded Medicaid and would not be exempted, the majority are already working. The challenge is they often work a variety of part time jobs, or hourly positions that fluctuate week to week, or they work for employers that do not provide health care benefits. Adding the burden of reporting is simply creating barriers through administrative red tape, increasing costs to the state, and risking the health of Idahoans. In fact, other states that have implemented work reporting requirements have seen individuals that lose coverage because they are unable to fulfill all the reporting requirements lose their job when their health worsens as a result of not being able to access health care and prescription needs. This is the exact opposite intent of the reporting requirement.
Healthy people are able to maintain and excel in their jobs, focus on supporting their families, and be productive members of their communities. Making sure all Idahoans have the ability to go to the doctor, get the prescriptions they need, and stay healthy helps keep health care costs lower, individuals healthier, and Idaho more productive. We ask you to join us in requesting the state reject the work reporting requirements, and fulfill the will of the voters. Click here and submit your comments against adding burdensome work reporting requirements.