Idaho Dispatch

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Reclaim Idaho Response to Medicaid Expansion Cost Projections. Idaho Dispatch Retraction

By • January 26, 2021

Note: Idaho Dispatch would like to state that Luke Mayville, Co-Founder of Reclaim Idaho did respond to our original article but we did not see his email prior to publication. Our apologies to Mr. Mayville and a full retraction and explanation are listed below the main article.

Last year a new projection was made on the cost of Medicaid Expansion in the state of Idaho through a report known as the Milliman Report.

In that report, the actuarial firm Milliman projected that the costs of Medicaid Expansion would cost approximately 90% more than their original report released in 2018. Idaho Dispatch reached out to a number of lawmakers and organizations regarding the report and their responses to it.

One of the organizations Idaho Dispatch reached out to was Reclaim Idaho.

Reclaim Idaho was the main organization that put Medicaid Expansion onto the ballot in November of 2018 through their ballot initiative effort which they had spent months gathering signatures for. In the end, just over 60% of the people who voted in November of 2018 voted for Medicaid Expansion.

Fast forward to 2021 and the Milliman Report projections and Mayville has responded to the report.

Here is the full quote sent to Idaho Dispatch from Mayville:

We are in the midst of a healthcare crisis and an economic crisis, with tens of thousands of Idahoans being laid off and losing their health insurance. It shouldn’t be surprising that we’re seeing more Idaho families rely on Medicaid Expansion as a safety net. We’re also seeing that more people than expected were in desperate need of medical attention after being denied access to healthcare for over six years.

In a time of so much need and so much economic uncertainty for families, it is unbelievable that Idaho lawmakers are considering cutting Medicaid. Even if recent budget predictions prove to be true, the Medicaid Expansion program will cost less than 1% of the total Idaho budget.

In his response, Mayville says that the cost of Medicaid is a very small part of the overall budget despite the potential increase.

Idaho Dispatch sent Mayville several follow-up questions in response to his quote. We asked Mayville how he believes the state should pay for the increase in cost.

Here is what Mayville send Idaho Dispatch:

The truth is that there is currently no reason to worry about Idaho’s Medicaid budget. The latest analysis from Close the Gap Idaho finds that Idaho’s Medicaid budget will enter the next fiscal year with a $63 million surplus. Even though the cost of Medicaid Expansion in the coming year is predicted to be greater than originally expected, the federal government has responded to COVID-19 by boosting our state’s Medicaid funds by over $100 million per year. This additional federal funding, which the Biden administration will continue to provide until 2022, is more than enough to make up for the additional costs of Medicaid Expansion.

Idaho Dispatch also asked Mayville what other ways he believes Idaho’s government should help those who are medically in need.

This was Mayville’s response:

The legislature should never have attempted to attach wasteful “work requirements” to the program. The problem with these restrictions is that, in all the states where they’ve been tried, they’ve kicked thousands of hardworking people off their healthcare coverage simply because people didn’t fill out the correct paperwork. It’s a bureaucratic mess and it wastes millions of taxpayer dollars. Fortunately for Idaho, these restrictions never received the necessary approval from the federal government. So for now, Medicaid Expansion remains unrestricted. Our lawmakers should leave it alone.
What are your thoughts on Medicaid Expansion? Do you believe any changes should be made to the current law?
Let us know in the comments below.

Idaho Dispatch Retraction and Correction:

On January 13th, Idaho Dispatch posted an article titled, “Report: Medicaid Expansion Projected to Cost 90% More Than Original Estimates.”

Prior to posting the article, Idaho Dispatch had reached out to a number of lawmakers and organizations regarding the Milliman report on which the article was based on. One of the organizations we reached out to was Reclaim Idaho which spearheaded the effort to put Medicaid Expansion onto the ballot in 2018.

In our article, we said that Reclaim Idaho did not respond to our request for comment. However, Luke Mayville, Co-Founder of Reclaim Idaho did respond on December 20th.

Idaho Dispatch did not receive Mayville’s original email in our regular inbox that we can find and we are unclear what happened to it at this time. Mayville emailed us again on January 20th and that email went into our spam folder. Here is a screenshot of that email:

It’s possible Mayville’s original message went to our spam folder. Spam messages are automatically deleted after 30 days and Idaho Dispatch does not regularly check our spam folder. The day we checked the spam folder was January 21st which means if Mayville’s message went to the spam folder we can no longer see it because it would have been over 30 days.

Idaho Dispatch sent Mayville an apology for not getting his quote in the original article and promised to update it with his quote and also do this article as its own.

Tags: Luke Mayville, Medicaid expansion, Milliman Report, Reclaim Idaho, Retraction