Hallelujah, and pass the Prop 2.
The wildly popular initiative to expand basic health care coverage to some of Idaho’s hardest working citizens withstood a Supreme Court challenge by local Republican leader Brent Regan and the Idaho Freedom Foundation. As much as some would like to take a long timeout to rub it in, that would do little but perhaps harden the future resolve of those who came out on the short end this time.
If there’s any cause for a bit of lingering, perhaps it’s to understand and celebrate a process that actually works.
After years of legislative inertia — some would say political cowardice — the people of Idaho took it upon themselves to do what their elected representatives failed to do. The resulting petition drive for signatures not only succeeded to put Proposition 2 on the November 2018 ballot, but galvanized a level of compassion and cooperation that transcended party lines throughout the state.
As you know, Prop 2 was approved overwhelmingly. Even so, Regan and the IFF challenged the constitutionality of the measure — a challenge “without merit” that was rejected by the high court Tuesday.
That concluded a three-step process — legislative inaction, citizen initiative, judicial confirmation — which now brings us back to the Idaho Legislature. That’s the body responsible this legislative session for expanding Medicaid to reflect the will of the people.
On today’s op-ed page is a piece penned by former legislative candidate Rebecca Schroeder. We encourage you to read it. Agree or disagree with her, but acknowledge this: Her passion for Prop 2 and her understanding of it and its ramifications are perhaps unparalleled.
In her candidacy last year, Schroeder went door to door to speak with literally thousands of local citizens. What she heard over and over again was reinforced by the vote last autumn. The people of Idaho want Medicaid expansion without the baggage reluctant politicians might add to weigh the momentum down.
This time the Legislature and newly minted Gov. Brad Little have a chance to shine, making our state healthier and therefore stronger.
Ladies and gentlemen, let’s do it.