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First take/death in Idaho

One phrase for it, from a member of the family, was “death by poverty,” but you could also say “death by legislature.” This account comes by way of Boise Weekly, which some months back “spoke with Idahoans who anxiously watched as Idaho GOP leadership pushed away two separate recommendations from a bi-partisan committee to pursue an expansion of Medicaid as soon as possible. It’s estimated as many as 78,000 Idahoans are in the Medicaid gap.” That means those 78,000 make too little money to afford health insurance – and, so, health care. But those are just numbers. On Sunday, the paper noted, the Post Register in Idaho Falls reported on the specific case of Jenny Steinke, whose battle with asthma started about 10 years ago. As Boise Weekly recounted, “The cost of insurance coverage for her and her husband was just out of reach, yet they were ineligible for care through the state health insurance exchange or for Medicaid. On September 1, Steinke’s inhaler wasn’t working and when she suffered a severe asthma attack, she was rushed to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. Three days later, she died of a brain herniation.” She died, in other words, in large part because the Idaho Legislature wouldn’t do what many other states do, and expand Medicaid coverage, which would have allowed her to get her condition under control. A dozen angry, snarky closing sentences suggest themselves; please add your own here. – rs

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