Opinion: Idaho Taxpayers Signed Away The Future On Medicaid Expansion
Ten million dollars spread over 44 counties. If done by population, the share for Twin Falls County would be small. Any increase in property taxes would also look tiny. Still, any increase in taxes isn’t what most of us desire.
Looking at the numbers it’s obvious a lot of registered Republicans were for expansion.
The ten million dollars is the share of Medicaid expansion some state legislators would like county governments to carry. If Medicaid costs climb, which is entirely possible, then the tab for counties grows. If the federal government walks away from paying 90 percent of its cost, then the cost goes up for Idaho (Utah is now paying 25 percent of the cost of its Medicaid expansion). A higher cost for the state means a higher cost for the counties. Again.
You can argue you were going to pay the cost whether it be local, state or federal. True, but on the county level the impact is property tax. The state collects revenue through things like income and sales tax. The federal government also taxes your income.
Ultimately, none of this would’ve been discussed had Proposition 2 failed at the ballot box last year. It passed by an almost two-thirds majority. In Twin Falls County the margin was near 60 percent.
As the public blanch when it comes to any borrowing by local governments it does know services aren’t free. There will be voices calling out state legislators for passing down the blame, however. The cost of Medicaid expansion was a public decision. Looking at the numbers it’s obvious a lot of registered Republicans were for expansion. As taxes climb and/or other services get squeezed aside and you need someone to blame, look in a mirror.