For the first time since announcing his candidacy for Idaho Governor, Lt. Governor Brad Little has made a stance on Proposition 2. He says there are better ways to help the people of Idaho.
Proposition 2, also called the Medicaid Expansion Initiative, would expand Medicaid eligibility to those under 65 years old, whose income is 133 percent of the federal poverty level or below and who are not eligible for other state insurance coverage. It's one of several initiatives on the ballot for the Nov. 6 General Election.
Hours earlier, current Idaho Governor Butch Otter surprised many when he announced he would support Proposition 2. "Allowing the healthcare coverage gap to persist any longer is not an option," Otter said in a statement.
As recently as October 12, Lt. Governor Brad Little had said he was still studying Proposition 2's potential impact, and was not yet ready to support or renounce it. The Lt. Governor, at that time, did say he would implement it if it was the will of the people.
In an interview Tuesday with KHQ's Stephanie Vigil, Little said, "I want an idaho solution to Prop 2. I've been an advocate all along of addressing the people in the gap. What we want to do is have a safety net that helps those people that need that health care that are unfairly between existing medicade and the subsidy that the Federal Government provides." He continues by mentioning that he wants "every oppurtunity for them to get out of it to be able to go on to employer insurance and buy-small plans." Little says he will work with the legislature to implement the proposal, however it is not his first choice.
In a Guest Opinion in The Idaho Statesman, Little's democratic challenger, Paulette Jordan, said that she's in favor of Proposition 2, but that Prop 2 is only the first step to ensure that people "in the gap" are covered.