Grassroots organization urges voters to say ‘yes’ to Prop 2

Print Article

Silver Valley resident Dawn Wiksten signs her name on the Reclaim Idaho bus in support of Prop 2. Prop 2 is proposed Medicaid expansion that could potentially help more than 60,000 Idahoans qualify for health care coverage. Photo by JOSH MCDONALD

KELLOGG — Idaho Proposition 2 is an initiative on the Nov. 6 ballot to have the state amend Idaho’s plan to expand Medicaid eligibility to certain persons.

One of the groups championing this proposed expansion recently made a stop in the Silver Valley to get the word out.

Reclaim Idaho, a self-described grassroots organization that has been a proponent of Prop 2 and has played a large role in it gaining traction, held a community meeting at the Kellogg coffee shop The Bean to discuss how they believe the initiative is one of Idaho’s most important issues.

Passage of Prop 2 would expand Medicaid — the government program that provides medical insurance to groups of lower income people and individuals with disabilities.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, provided for the expansion of Medicaid to cover all individuals earning incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could not withhold funds from states that refused to expand Medicaid.

The ruling had the practical effect of making Medicaid expansion optional for states and as of March 2018, 18 states (including Idaho) have chosen not to expand Medicaid.

Reclaim Idaho hopes to see that change on Election Day.

According to Reclaim Idaho co-founder Luke Mayville, there are an estimated 62,000 Idahoans who fall into the “Medicaid gap,” meaning that they earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford insurance on the state health care exchange.

The group says that expanding Medicaid would extend health care to those 62,000.

Detractors from the initiative have utilized terms such as “socialized medicine” and believe that the passing of Prop 2 would lead to an increase in people abusing the system.

“Medicaid is a program that has been around since 1965 and has served us very well,” Mayville said. “All this is, is an expansion of Medicaid eligibility to serve more people. Calling it socialized medicine is nothing more than giving it a scary name.”

A report by the Idaho Workgroup on Medicaid Redesign, commissioned by Governor Butch Otter, predicts that Medicaid expansion would support more than 14,000 jobs and generate $46 million per year in new revenue.

Moreover, according to the group, Medicaid expansion would save millions for the state general fund by relieving the costs of state-funded indigent care services and eliminate unpaid medical debt.

Both candidates for Idaho governor, Paulette Jordan and Brad Little have supported Prop 2, but in different ways.

For Jordan, Prop 2 is an essential part of her campaign. Little has, in no specific words, maintained a mostly neutral stance, but would support the measure if Idaho’s voters passed it.

“This is a non partisan issue and we have supporters on both sides of the aisle,” Mayville said. “This a public policy, and not something that should be a political issue.”

The Reclaim Idaho movement is making its way throughout the state, holding small meetings in various towns as they make their push toward the next week’s election day.

More information on Prop 2, as well as some of the initiative’s backers, can be found at, and information on Reclaim Idaho can be found at

Print Article

Read More Local News

Wallace awarded Best Blues Festival title

November 14, 2018 at 1:00 am | Shoshone News-Press WALLACE — Residents of Wallace would say that they knew their blues festival was the best in the region already, but last Thursday, it was officially confirmed by the Inland Empire Blues Society at t...


Read More

Get ready for the lighting festival

November 14, 2018 at 1:00 am | Shoshone News-Press The 7th annual Kellogg Christmas Lighting Festival is next Saturday, Nov. 24, and with the plethora of events going on throughout the day, there should be something for everyone. The day’s festiviti...


Read More

Events calendar Nov. 14-20

November 14, 2018 at 1:00 am | Shoshone News-Press WEDNESDAY, NOV. 14 • Hospice of North Idaho Silver Valley grief counseling group from 11 a.m. to noon at Shoshone Medical Center, Classrooms 1 and 2. Facilitated by Megan Dardis Kunz, Hospice...


Read More

Kellogg JROTC has busy Veterans Day weekend

November 13, 2018 at 11:49 am | Shoshone News-Press KELLOGG — From Friday to Monday, people across the Silver Valley paid their respects to those who have served in the armed forces in one way or another. One of the popular options to do this was to...


Read More

Contact Us

(208) 752-1120
620 E Mullan Ave.
P.O. Box 589
Osburn, Idaho 83849

©2018 Shoshone News Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy