Several people spoke to the Bannock County Commissioners on behalf of Proposition 2 Thursday.
Steven Weeg, a proponent of Medicaid expansion, heavily endorsed the benefits this could have on the state.
Bannock County Sheriff’s office also shared their unique perspective and how this affect law enforcement.
“The Idaho Sheriffs’ Association voted unanimously in support of Prop 2,” said Bannock County Sheriff Loren Neilson.
Many people who are released from jail have a hard to time finding jobs that pay enough for state coverage. Many of them also do not qualify for Medicaid. Therefore, people who struggle substance abuse and mental health suffer because they’re unable to get the treatment they need. As a result, illegal substance abuse and neglected mental health issues can lead to conflict; often being ending up back in jail.
Not only is it a lack of treatment to return back into the community but many people know they can get health care from within prison.
“When you have to go to jail to receive treatment, we need to change that,” he said.
Medicaid, as well as private insurance companies, don’t allow coverage for those in jail. Therefore, the state and counties pay for medical bills from within prisons.
The Medicaid gap currently affects more than 62 thousand people statewide. Those who fall into this gap earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but don’t make too little for state coverage. Therefore, Proposition 2 hopes to close that gap by allowing coverage to those who make more than the current Medicaid qualification.
It is on the ballot for November 6th which addresses the Medicaid gap in Idaho.