Planned Parenthood, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Nancy Pelosi love Medicaid expansion. So if you love them, you’ll love Proposition 2. The issue is no more complicated than that.
To understand the choice between a yes or no vote on Proposition 2, ask yourself why Medicaid expansion has the support of people and organizations diametrically at odds with Idaho values.
Planned Parenthood argues on its website that Medicaid expansion is a “no-brainer.” The abortion provider says “political games” have prevented expansion.
What Planned Parenthood won’t say, but I will, is that the pro-abortion group supports Medicaid expansion because it wants to offer its services to more Idahoans, and Medicaid expansion is a path toward that. It’s no wonder pro-life organizations, including Idaho Chooses Life and Right to Life Idaho, are alarmed.
Hillary Clinton made Medicaid expansion a central component of her healthcare plan during the 2016 presidential election. According to Clinton's campaign website, she favored “incentivizing states to expand Medicaid—and make enrollment through Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act easier."
San Francisco’s Pelosi has also consistently supported the Medicaid expansion provisions in Obamacare. In 2012, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Medicaid expansion to be optional to the states, Pelosi predicted governors would eagerly move to implement expansion. When the politically divided Virginia Legislature and that state’s Democrat governor opted to expand Medicaid earlier this year, Pelosi lauded the move.
“Virginia’s Medicaid expansion shows what is possible when lawmakers work to improve families’ health care, instead of trying to destroy it,” said Pelosi. She will no doubt offer similar compliments to Idaho voters if they decide next month to expand Medicaid.
Similarly, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, has been a big proponent states expanding Medicaid, as a pathway to “Medicare for all.” In a 2013 debate with then-U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-Louisiana, Sanders complained that the southern state had to that point rejected Medicaid expansion.
“As you well know, your state--and I gather you--have rejected the idea that Medicaid should be expanded,” Sanders scolded. “Other Republican governors have done the same. … I think that’s wrong. How much does it cost for someone to go on Medicaid? This is a federal program, which costs zero dollars.” Louisiana later, with a Democrat governor at the helm, agreed to expansion.
It is true that there are some Idaho Republican legislators who support Medicaid expansion, but their numbers are few and uniformly left-of-center. GOP Reps. Christy Perry of Nampa and House Health and Welfare Chairman Fred Wood of Burley are known big-government Republicans who often closely align with the Democrats in the Legislature than with conservative Republicans. For proof, see their voting records. This year, Idaho Freedom Index has Perry at 71 percent and Wood at 69 percent, where a 100 percent voting record represents maximum adherence to conservative principles during dozens of votes last legislative session. The just-released scorecard from the American Conservative Union puts Perry at 67 percent and Wood at 52 percent. Those scores indicate they fit neatly in the liberal wing of the Republican party.
Medicaid expansion may seem to be a complicated issue. Supporters say one thing about the costs and supposed benefits. Opponents say something else. Both provide their own research and data as evidence to back up their claims. As a voter, it’s hard sometimes to know who is right and who is full of beans. But, one fact is unalterable and telling: Obamacare expansion has the unflinching support of the most radical liberal politicians and organizations of our time.
Armed with that fact, voters should be able to easily discern whether Proposition 2 is right or wrong for Idaho.