President Ronald Reagan once said the best way to measure the success of a government program is to count the number of people who no longer needed it. Sadly, it is just the opposite story in Idaho. There are too many of our fellow citizens who must rely on government just to make ends meet. They would rather have good-paying jobs that allow them to provide for their families and enjoy the benefits of employment.
Medicaid expansion means more government control at greater costs. It also means more stress on our state budget with uncertain promises from a federal government that is both broke and broken. I will not stand by while Idaho continues to put the healthcare of our most vulnerable citizens at risk of federal government promises based on uncertain budget dollars.
When it comes to Medicaid expansion, Idaho needs to be in control to ensure that the vulnerable in our state get greater choice with access at lower costs and of higher quality. This means patient-centric alternatives and more self-management of programs. I will work to “re-balance” our relationship with the federal government to curtail the heavy hand of centralized control, while bettering those in trouble in Idaho. I will also give working poor people who lack options real and affordable choices.
We must work to empower Idahoans with a patient-centric system that puts them in charge and makes insurance and healthcare providers compete for their business. We must give the most vulnerable in our society more choice, more affordability, and more control.