Idaho Republican: Motivate poor people with life coaches instead of giving them health care
Sick little girl covered in blanket is lying on couch while her father is touching her forehead (Shutterstock).

The expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act has helped millions of Americans get access to health care, but millions of other potential beneficiaries have been left out in the cold by Republican-run state governments that have refused to go along with the program.


The Washington Post reports that the GOP-dominated Idaho state government, like other GOP legislatures around the country, decided to reject the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.

Unlike other Republican legislatures, however, the Idaho GOP decided it would try its hands at coming up with an alternative to expanding Medicaid -- but so far it has had no success.

"Idaho Gov. C.L. 'Butch' Otter, a Republican, vowed to come up with a replacement after declining to fully embrace the Medicaid expansion that was offered as part of the Affordable Care Act," the Post writes. "He’s tried to persuade his heavily Republican legislature to set aside their hands-off views about the government on this issue. Studies have been conducted. Proposals have been put forward. But after four years, lawmakers have come up with no alternative."

One particularly novel proposed alternative to the Medicaid expansion, the Post explains, came from a state senator who wanted give poor people tax incentives to pay for life coaches who would help motivate them to work harder, get higher paying jobs, and thus get decent quality health care.

None of the state legislatures' plans ever came to fruition, however, and the state is anxiously waiting to see what alternatives the Republican Party can come up with in Washington.