As President of United Way of Treasure Valley, I see first-hand the value of health insurance as a work support for all working Idahoans. United Way’s ALICE Report (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) is a snapshot of Idaho’s hard working, low-wage earners, and is the only data providing cost of living estimates in each Idaho census tract. ALICE doesn’t make enough to meet a basic survival budget, let alone afford the full cost of health insurance. Lack of healthcare has a tremendous impact on the daily lives of Idaho’s working people (loss of pay, health) it also has a negative effect on the bottom-line of the businesses that employ them in time and productivity according to Forbes.
But who is ALICE? Idaho runs on ALICE. They are child care providers, construction workers, health and home care workers, grocery, food service and more. Idaho relies on ALICE every single day as an essential part of our community, they are our neighbors. ALICE is the hard-working family earning too much for traditional Medicaid health insurance, but not enough to purchase from the market. Medicaid Health Insurance Expansion is the key to helping ALICE stay employed and move towards financial stability. When ALICE can’t show up for work, the ripples are felt throughout the community at every level.
While we can think of a million reasons to support Idaho’s voter initiative to expand Medicaid health insurance access, ability to keep employment, and a steady stream of income for these hardworking families is priority one for me.
Access to consistent, ongoing health insurance is a key to maintaining employment and a healthy community as it is the gateway to a proactive healthy lifestyle. However, barriers to health insurance are barriers to employment. Let’s have a policy conversation that creates solutions. Let’s not create barriers to Medicaid health insurance for qualified Idahoans.
United Way of Treasure Valley supports the full implementation of Medicaid Health Insurance Expansion as voiced by the voters in November. If you'd like to let your legislator know where you stand on this issue, click here. You will be directed to a site that will help identify which legislative district you live in, and who your specific legislators are.