Take Action Against the Paperwork Penalty!


Your comments are needed to stop the paperwork penalty for Idaho’s Medicaid Expansion. See below! This is a sample comment from Reclaim Idaho, the organization that worked diligently to put Medicaid Expansion on the ballot in 2018. Please use this to make your comment personal. Note that these comments are going to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, not legislators.

“Paperwork Restrictions” – Sample Comment

To:Idaho State Department of Health and Welfare

Idaho’s State Legislature recently passed a law seeking to restrict access to Medicaid Expansion in our state despite the fact that 61-percent of the voters passed a “clean” Medicaid Expansion bill via initiative. I believe the “Sec. 1115 waiver” being sought is flawed for the following reasons:

1.     The purpose of Medicaid Expansion is to provide healthcare access to low-income Idahoans. Many of these people have not seen a doctor in their adult lives. Providing healthcare access to these people is going to make them more productive at work and at home, which will make their communities and our state stronger. Making these working families fill out paperwork on a regular basis puts this objective at risk.

a.    Perhaps personalize this point with a story.

2.     As you well know, the vast majority of people in the “gap” population work. As such, this restriction is not a “work requirement” but rather a paperwork penalty. We saw disastrous results in Arkansas where nearly 18,000 people lost coverage last year because they failed to fill out forms correctly. Nearly 90-percent of those people were still without coverage in early 2019. If you apply those same percentages to Idaho’s working poor, more than 21,000 Idahoans could lose coverage under this penalty for failing to fill out paperwork correctly – or for not knowing about it in the first place – even if they meet the so-called “work requirements” mandated under state law.

3.     Because of this, Idaho’s paperwork restrictions will create a “second gap” of thousands of people who lose healthcare coverage for their failure to submit paperwork correctly/timely. As a result, they will be forced to seek expensive emergency room care. This will only increase costs to Idaho taxpayers, provide inefficient healthcare to recipients, and defeat the whole purpose of expanding Medicaid.

For the reasons set forth above, I would encourage you to deny this restriction to Medicaid Expansion in the State of Idaho. A federal judge has already done so in three states. There is no reason to believe he will do any differently in Idaho’s case. Thank you for your consideration.




_________, Idaho