Idaho Voters Back Medicaid Expansion


Yes on Healthcare, No on Horserace Betting;
GOP Marks 23rd Trifecta Lock on Government
Voters in Idaho and two other predominantly Republican states supported ballot measures to extend Medicaid benefits to more low-income residents. The Idaho vote calls for legislation to provide healthcare coverage for about 62,000 people, bringing to about 300,000 the number of people newly eligible in the Gem State, Uah, and Nebraska, according to estimates from government agencies and advocacy groups in those states. Unofficial results of the 2018 Midterm in Idaho included a victory for Lt. Gov. Brad Little, who won the gubernatorial race with about 60 percent of the vote against Democrat challenger Paulette Jordan’s 37.9 percent, and an overall loss of one legislative seat for Democrats in the Legislature. Apart from some local and county government victories for Democrats, Republicans maintained a firm grip on Gem State governance in the governor’s office and both legislative chamber for the 23rd time since statehood.
Close the Gap Idaho, the statewide coalition that led the campaign for Proposition 2, the successful Medicaid expansion initiative, issued a statement praising “strong bipartisan support,” for the measure, which got more “yes” votes than either gubernatorial candidate at 60.8 percent.
“Thousands of Idahoans – from Bonners Ferry to Bear Lake – volunteered non-stop in support of Prop 2 throughout the year and, on Tuesday, they saw the successful fruits of their labors,” said Brian Whitlock, president of the Idaho Hospital Association. “On Election Day, their message was clear – the current health care system is unfair to thousands of hard-working Idahoans and Medicaid expansion is how the people of Idaho told their elected leaders to fix it.”
Lauren Necochea, director of Idaho Voices for Children and a Close the Gap Idaho steering committee member, said, “On Election Day Idaho voters demonstrated what we have known all along—they support commonsense, fiscally responsible health care solutions that will help working families. Idaho can now ensure that families throughout the state have access to affordable health coverage and are able to receive preventive care and avoid medical bankruptcy.”
In the congressional races for Idaho’s two House of Representatives seats, Republican incumbent Mike Simpson won an 11th term representing Idaho's Second Congressional District. He defeated Democratic challenger Aaron Swisher, a Boise economist, to retain the seat. In the First District, Republican Russ Fulcher prevailed over Democrat challenger Cristina McNeil and six other candidates, for the seat vacated by Rep. Raul Labrador.
The official totals for Idaho’s 2018 General Election will be posted here when they are certified by the secretary of state: https://sos.idaho.gov/elect/results/index.html

Resources
The Idaho Statesman’s report of election results is here.
The New York Times summary of Idaho voting, reported by The Associated Press, is here.
The NPR report on voter support for Medicaid expansion in Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah, is here.
The Idaho Press report on the Medicaid expansion outcome is here.
The Idaho Matters breakout of Idaho election results as reported via Boise State Public Radio, with Kevin Richert of Idaho Education News, Betsy Russell of the Idaho Press, Boise State assistant professor of political science Jaclyn Kettler and political analyst Justin Vaughn, is here.

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