Iím writing this in response to Anne Pattersonís opinion piece, printed on April 12, 2019, regarding why she didnít sign the Prop 2 petition. Iím happy that Ms. Patterson has been fortunate enough to have a healthy family that has been able to afford the few medical bills that have come their way. Unfortunately, many Idahoans arenít so lucky. Ms. Patterson failed to take into account that people have health issues that are beyond their control, no matter how healthy they eat or which vices they stay away from.
She also failed to consider that the passage of Prop 2 only guarantees Medicaid to those at 138 percent of the poverty line and below, previously Medicaid was only available to those at 100 percent and below. Nearly 13 percent of Idahoans lived at or below the poverty level in 2018. This was based on the 2017 Idaho poverty line, which was $24,860 for a family of four and less than $13,000 for one individual. I donít know about you, but Iíd have a hard time finding room in my budget for medical bills if I made under $13,000 a year. 138 percent of $24,860 is only $34,306.80. Can you imagine raising a family of four on that budget and still having room in your budget for unexpected medical bills? And letís face it, healthcare in our country is not cheap. In fact, the United States has the most expensive healthcare of any developed nation.
I would like to suggest that Ms. Patterson heed her own advice and do her own research. She urges people to do their research before signing a petition and I urge people to do their own research before believing everything they read in the newspaper, especially when itís found in the opinion section. A quick look at the Sunshine Reports on the Idaho Secretary of State website discredits much of what Brent Regan wrote about Prop 2 and Reclaim Idaho.
Since when did we become a society that stopped making our own conclusions and forming our own opinions? We are living in the information age, yet much of what we see on the news isnít factual or accurate.
Iím of the opinion that we are each responsible to do our own research on the issues using credible sources, especially when it comes to voting in elections.
There is no excuse for an uninformed voter, whether in local, state or national elections. Having the right to vote is a privilege, especially as a woman, and I donít believe it should be taken lightly. Too many people go to the polls without educating themselves and simply fill in the circles along party lines, without really knowing who or what theyíre voting for. Both parties are guilty of this. I get it, our lives are busy. Weíre going to soccer practice and struggling to get dinner on the table in a timely manner. Itís all we can do to keep up with the needs of our families.
Iíll simply leave you with this question. How much time do you spend on social media or watching television each day and could you instead spend just 5 minutes per day informing yourself on local, state and national issues?
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Laura Tenneson is a Hayden resident.