Both sides speak out about healthcare gap coverage initiative

Posted at 7:32 PM, Jul 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-07 01:41:46-04

Healthcare advocates flooded the steps of the Idaho State Capitol Building to pass on a petition and make their message loud and clear: they want to close the gap.

"It always is so difficult when you're trying to figure out: would we like to eat today?" Pam Blessinger, working Idahoan who falls in the gap, says. "Would we like for me to go to the doctor, ya know, because, at the end of the day-- no matter what-- everything comes down to: what can we afford right now?" 

Roughly 62,000 Idahoans fall in a "health coverage gap". Meaning they often make too much to be eligible for Medicaid, and often make too little to afford state insurance.

But not every Idahoan believes that the government should front this cost. And they worry about the funding burden shifting to the state down the line.  

President of The Idaho Freedom Foundation Wayne Hoffman is one of those people. "It's going to take money from K-12 education. It's going to take money away from colleges and universities. It's going to take money away from infrastructure projects," he said.

Representative Christy Perry says the petition had more than 70,000 signatures when it needed only 50,000 signatures to qualify for November's ballot.