Idaho woman in Medicaid coverage gap speaks out

Posted at 2:45 PM, Jul 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-06 16:45:42-04

Donna Scranton suffers from episodes comparable to seizures multiple times per day, every day.

"I've had people stop when I'm having one of my episodes and literally grab my hand and start praying with me," Scranton said.

She has an undiagnosed disease that she says is only getting worse.

"To have somebody from the medical profession telling you we know you have this disorder; we know you have something neurologically wrong but you can't go see anybody; it's wrong it's wrong, ya know? And it's scary," Scranton said.

She says that because she lacks coverage, she can't see the brain specialist she desperately needs.

"I did have to go to the emergency room which was very pricey," she said.

Scranton is one of an estimated 62,000 Idahoans who lie within the so-called "health care gap", meaning she earns too much to qualify for Medicaid and too little to afford insurance plans on the state exchange. 

"We're not paying for preventive care, we're paying for crisis care, and we're paying for it at the most expensive level possible," said Rep. Christy Perry (R-Nampa).

Perry, a Republican who strongly supports the effort to "close the gap" says incidents like Scranton's are a loss for both the patient and the taxpayer.

"It's a very human issue," said Perry. "You have Idahoans across the state who really truly care about what happens to their friends, their neighbors, and their family. And so, they have really come out of the woodwork and say, 'Hey, we want this addressed.'"