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Reclaim Idaho JulyJul 01 2021 10:00pm - JulyJul 04 2021 10:00pm

In 2011, as a symbol of protest to the Affordable Care Act, Republican-run states all over the US refused to expand Medicaid to help the uninsured in their states. In Idaho, that choice left an estimated 62,000 - 100,000 people in the dangerous position of not having any access to health insurance. Deemed “not poor enough” for Medicaid but without the income needed to qualify for ACA subsidies, the unfortunate Idahoans landed in what became known as The Medicaid Gap.

For years, Idaho legislators did nothing to address this issue.

In 2018, Idaho natives Emily Strizich, her husband Garrett and their childhood friend Luke Mayville, set out to change that. With little political experience and few resources beyond a 1977 Dodge RV painted bright green, this trio braved the roads and highways of Idaho, driving from town to town in an effort to collect the signatures they needed to get Prop 2, a Medicare Expansion initiative, on the ballot. They collected thousands of signatures and knocked on as many doors. As they drove around the state, other like-minded Idahoans joined the fight. The result was something no one expected: Medicaid expansion would be put to a vote for the very first time. It was no longer a fight between right and left, instead acceptance of the fact that they all needed to take care of everyone, regardless of their voting party.

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