Celebrating labor day? It’s hard to party without healthcare

In the days leading up to Labor Day, we have our eyes on the capitol in downtown Boise. As an organization that prioritizes progressive and working family values we want you to think about the hard working Idahoan’s who make this state great yet have no access to healthcare. 78,0000 Idahoans are slipping through the cracks of the healthcare coverage gap and we believe that Idaho and the folks making decisions in our state can and must do better.

It is our mission to see a better Idaho and in that vision we know that access to healthcare is essential. Plus, it’s Labor Day weekend and the whole idea of the holiday is to celebrate the social and economic achievements of workers. We think it’s pretty hard to party though when one trip to the emergency room can result in bankruptcy.

A few days ago a legislative interim committee met in Boise to discuss the path forward for Idahoan’s needing access to healthcare. While the committee, and by extension the legislature, remains at an impasse, it is clear that blaming Idahoan’s for not working hard enough, as Senator Patti Anne Lodge did on Monday, is not going to pave the road to success for the most vulnerable people in our state. Senator Lodge is quoted saying, “We have to take into the consideration that there are those in the 78,000 who could pay for their health insurance if they just worked a little more.” Seriously?! Shame. Shame on all that mess. Her assumption that folks just need to work a little more is irresponsible and shows how out of touch the Senator is despite her 16 years of part-time service. It is worth noting that she has access to state subsidized healthcare for that part-time service, too.

  • Exactly how many hours does it take to “work a little more?”
  • And, exactly how are you supposed to “work a little more” if you are ill and unable to be employed?
  • How are you supposed to “work a little more” if you are the sole care provider for a sick or aging family member and are unable to have full time employment?

Send us your own “how are you supposed to work a little more if…” list, we’ll keep track of them and maybe we’ll do something creative with them during the session. You can send them to us at info@betteridaho.org.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program – Luckily for those 78,000 Idahoans in the coverage gap there are other representatives on that committee who are dedicated to serving the people in honest ways (high five Senator Jordan, thanks for your work!). The committee is not the decision making entity in the end. We have our own work to do. Relentless tenacity and pressure, people. This is what is needed to keep lawmakers on track to ensure that every single Idahoan has the same opportunity to succeed. Access to healthcare is part of that plan. Do you want to see the gap closed in 2017? Of course you do – go ahead and sign this petition to let our legislators know that you want them to prioritize access to healthcare for ALL Idahoans in the 2017 legislature.

It’s a small, tiny ask. Hook it up! Please and thank you!

Happy Labor Day, folks! Huge thanks to our brothers and sisters who worked tirelessly to bring us the weekend.

 

betteridaho

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