As the cold wind blew Monday morning in Chubbuck, dozens gathered in the parking lot outside of Health West. With November 6th drawing closer, the group voiced support for Proposition 2, which would expand Medicaid to more than 62,000 in the Gem State.
The gathering included Senator Mark Nye, former Legislature Merrill Beyeler and President of the Idaho Medical Association Bill Woodhouse, among others.
Many of those who spoke emphasized how important this is to those who can’t afford the care they need. People who can’t refill their prescriptions, or cancer survivors who can’t get follow-up treatment.
“It’s hard to watch,” Bill Woodhouse said. “My job is to try and take care of people and I can’t do my job if people don’t have a source of payment for their health care.”
Attempts have been made in the past to get bills like this passed but, “politics got in the way,” according to Senator Nye.
But this case is different.
“This is democracy in action, where the people themselves are passing this.” And according to Nye, “it’s gonna pass big.”
There are those who are against Medicaid expansion though. But former Legislature Merrill Beyeler doesn’t see the rational.
“Shoot, do we want our neighbors healthy? I don’t know. Do we want them covered? I don’t know. It’s a ridiculous situation that we’ve found ourselves in.”
Those opposed to Prop 2 fear that it will raise taxes and shift money away from other areas of government involvement.
A decision will be rendered after the November 6th ballot.