Summer Doesn't Mean We Are Slowing Down

While many things slow down during the summer, we certainly do not! We are looking at the Idaho advocacy priorities to evaluate what we have accomplished and what our next steps will be. During the next several weeks, we will be meeting with partners, supporters, Legislators, local elected officials, and other stakeholders to determine where we might be able to coordinate, make progress, and secure policy success at the state or local levels.

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We have already started discussion with potential coalition partners on efforts surrounding food as medicine or prescription produce support in the Medicaid and SNAP programs. As the Legislative Medicaid Managed Care Task Force has started meeting, and many members are open to input from outside organizations, we want to make sure the focus remains on patients receiving benefits. We know the main priority for this Task Force is cost containment in Medicaid, and we are trying to help them understand the prevention efforts through options like nutrition access, particularly in those with chronic conditions, will have more success in reducing costs than simply introducing managed care. We are hoping to work with partners on either an ad-hoc position on the Task Force or providing a presentation to the Task Force on elements of SNAP funding and accessibility, nutrition counseling, and other opportunities to improve health for Medicaid beneficiaries.

We are also coordinating with our coalition on Postpartum Medicaid Expansion to ensure we will be able to move legislation forward as the work on Medicaid cost containment continues. Additionally, we are reviewing changes to EMS triage, transfer, and transport protocols currently under rules review, as rules changes in the 2023 Legislative Session could impact our ability to influence this process.

We anticipate legislation for electronic tobacco taxes to come back in the 2024 Legislative Session, and we are beginning conversations with members of key committees, previous sponsors, and other potential supporters to discuss the need for overall excise tax increases for all tobacco and nicotine products. We have started outreach with members of the Joint Legislative Millennium Fund Committee to discuss how funding and enforcement will have the greatest impact on youth smoking rates, and how we can curb the normalization of tobacco and nicotine use. This includes our efforts on the local level to connect our Smoke-Free efforts to the increase in youth initiation, and how adopting smoke-free policies will counter the current upward trend of youth smokers and nicotine use.

While the summer months heat up, we are still hard at work determining our path forward and setting ourselves up for success as we prepare for local decision makers and Legislators to determine their key issues moving forward into an election year.  


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