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Rexburg medical community comments on BYU-I’s recent statement regarding Medicaid

Madison Memorial Hospital
Madison Memorial Hospital

REXBURG, Idaho (KIFK/KIDK) - Not everyone is accepting BYU-I's explanation in their recent statement that said "Due to the healthcare needs of tens of thousands of students enrolled annually on the campus of BYU-Idaho, it would be impractical for the local medical community and infrastructure to support them with only Medicaid coverage."

Wednesday's statement satisfied some students but left others like Andrew Taylor needing more from the administration.

"We felt it was a bunch of garbage," said Taylor.

We reached out to Madison Memorial Hospital who is the only hospital in the county and operates many clinics in the area. Hospital spokesman, Doug McBride, commented on the hospital's capabilities.

"As far as the infrastructure here in Rexburg we feel that we have a very solid foundation as far as being able to handle the needs of our community," said McBride.

McBride also said that Madison memorial and BYU-I have a close association dealing with various health topics, however, when it came to BYU-I's decision to reject Medicaid, the university made the change without previously discussing it with the hospital.

In contrast to BYU-I's statement, McBride said Medicaid expansion won't have a big impact on the hospital. "Talking about that payer mix and how Medicaid Expansion is going to help if there are more students that get on Medicaid, how will that affect our community? As far as the hospital is concerned Medicaid Expansion really will not affect us, you know in a negative or a positive way. "

Almost eight thousand people in Madison County are currently enrolled in Medicaid, and almost seven hundred of those participants are between the ages of 19 and 25, according to the Idaho Health and Welfare Department.

"Even the Medicaid office people said that it's not feasible for us to afford private insurance," said Taylor.

With BYU-I's recent change, Taylor is forced to withdraw from the university and get a full- time job that will provide his family insurance, so that his pregnant wife can finish her last semester at BYU-I.

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Jilliana Colina

Jilliana is a reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.


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