Written Testimony to Health and Welfare Committee

The following is my written testimony to Idaho’s Joint Legislative Health and Welfare committee for a hearing scheduled for February 8th, 2019.

Good morning,

My name is Todd DeVries, a resident of Idaho Falls. I appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts with this joint committee and wish to add my voice to those supporting a clean implementation and full funding of Medicaid Expansion which was overwhelmingly passed by the voters last November 6. I work in the non profit and mental health fields, both as a professional social worker and a volunteer. Many of those with whom I work are decent and honorable people who I am proud to call friends and colleagues. They have jobs, raise children, and care for their families. A core belief when working with others asserts: Everyone is doing their best in any given moment. None of us want to make mistakes, offend or put off others, or fall into behaviors that do not work. What this means in the context of expanding Medicaid is that people do the best they can with what they have and from where their live. adding additional requirements to obtaining healthcare will have the consequence (intended or not) of erecting barriers to people who need to see doctors. It is an injustice to assume that the population who qualify for expansion are some how less moral, in need of “incentives” or some how inferior to people higher on the economic scale. Income should not equate to worthiness. Access to quality health care benefits not just those directly served. Healthy citizens make for better employees, stronger families, and more vibrant communities.

I urge you to implement Medicaid Expansion as envisioned by those who voted it into law. Please fully fund the law without additional restrictions or barriers to obtaining the care our communities so desperately need.

Todd DeVries, LMSW