Publications

2007

Bar to a Healthy Future: Stories of the Immigrant Children Left Behind
This publication describes the experiences of just a few of the children who are left behind by the 1996 (pre-SCHIP) immigration-related restrictions. It also tells the stories of not-so-different children who have benefited from the wise investment in health insurance that should be available to all our young people.

Why Idaho Should Raise the Minimum Wage
Too many Idahoans are not making a living wage. Many families are supported by workers in minimum wage jobs. The minimum wage today, $5.15 an hour, is at its lowest real value since 1956. Today´s minimum wage is less than half a living wage for a single person, and less than a quarter of the wage a person would need to support a family of four. Two adults would have to work three full-time minimum wage jobs each to make a living wage for themselves and two children.

2006

Medicaid Matters for Idaho´s County Economies
This report provides an overview of the contributions Medicaid makes to the economy and the quality of life in Idaho. This analysis measures the economy-wide business activity, jobs, and income produced by Medicaid spending.

Protect Idaho Farmworkers from Harmful Pesticides
Farmworkers are a crucial part of Idaho´s economic success, and integral to our communities. A lack of adequate protections in Idaho leaves farmworkers vulnerable to accidental pesticide exposure, which causes immediate and long-term health problems.

Don´t Waiver on Medicaid: Governor Kempthorne´s Proposal for Medicaid Puts Idaho at Risk
analyzes the Medicaid waiver proposed by the Governor and the Department of Health and Welfare. The report predicts that, for those who rely on Medicaid, the proposal will lead to increased costs, may restrict benefits, and is likely to cause many people to forego needed medical care. The waiver is also likely to shift health care costs onto counties, health care providers, and people who have health insurance, without generating revenue for the state or addressing the real cost drivers in Medicaid.

2005

2005 Northwest Health Gap Study
Between high wage earners who have comprehensive employer-based health benefits, and the low income people who are covered through public health programs, lies a rapidly growing population with no coverage or inadequate coverage. These people are in the health gap.

The Private Health Insurance System is Failing Idaho´s Families and Small Businesses
More and more Idahoans have no health insurance. And more and more insured Idahoans are insured only on paper. The health insurance crisis has serious consequences for the physical well-being of Idahoans, for the financial security of families, and for the overall economic viability of the state.

The Best Medicine at the Best Price: Pooling Rx Purchases in Idaho
Prescription drug costs are rising rapidly across the nation and the Northwest, in all types of health care programs. To deal with these costs, many states have started negotiating lower prescription drug prices from the extremely profitable pharmaceutical companies and they are already saving money. Larger volume purchasers can negotiate larger savings, so states are creating large purchasing pools. By using multi-agency and multi-state prescription drug purchasing pools and/or preferred drug lists, states have projected or realized savings of 5 to 15 percent of their total prescription drug costs.

Insuring and End to Idaho´s Health Care Crisis
Small businesses and individuals are struggling to keep up with increases in health insurance premiums. There is a widespread feeling that costs are rising, while quality declines. Idaho has a number of options for restoring accountability, transparency, and integrity in health insurance.

2004

Pull the Plug on Idaho Power´s Rate Increase: Idaho´s Families Need Rate Relief, Not Rate Hikes
In October 2003, Idaho Power filed a rate increase application with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Idaho Power´s request, as the PUC staff determined, is a gross overestimate of its actual needs - over $70 million more than Idaho Power could justify! Idaho families are struggling to make ends meet and pay power bills today. Idaho Power´s rate proposal would leave even more low-income families out in the cold.

Keep the Heat On: Idaho Utility Regulations Threaten the Health and Safety of Idaho Families
Economic conditions in Idaho are squeezing low-income families from every direction. Unemployment continues to rise and many of Idaho´s families live in poverty. The rates of personal bankruptcy and lack of health insurance are also increasing. Skyrocketing energy costs are an unbearable burden when added to these economic realities. Energy consumers who turn to the state for help find that the Low-Income Heating Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) budget is woefully inadequate, and that consumer protections for low-income consumers are not strong enough.

Don´t Lien on Me - Why the State´s Medical Indigency Care Program is Unhealthy for Idahoans
Health insurance is the most important vehicle for gaining access to health care services in the United States. It makes a substantial difference in the amount and type of services people are able to obtain. The adverse health consequences for people who do not have health insurance are serious: one study found that the uninsured are almost six times more likely than the insured to have postponed health care for a serious condition because they couldn´t afford it. Other studies focusing on health outcomes for uninsured individuals found that these people are more likely to die in the hospital, implying that they may postpone care until it is too late.

Idaho Lags Behind Region and Nation in Prescription Drug Savings
With prescription drug prices on the rise across the nation in all types of healthcare programs, more and more states are pooling the prescription drug purchases of their state agencies, and are joining together with other states to negotiate large prescription drug discounts. As this report details, numerous states are already saving substantial sums using purchasing pools. But Idaho lags behind the Northwest and the nation in negotiating prices from prescription drug manufacturers.

Medicaid Supports Idaho´s County Economics
This report provides an overview of the important contributions Medicaid makes to the economy of and quality of life in Idaho. Throughout the state, Medicaid spending directly purchases goods and services, and supports healthcare industry jobs for Idaho´s counties. And these direct healthcare purchases trigger further cycles of earning and purchases that ripple throughout the economy, affecting individuals and businesses not directly associated with healthcare, and generating jobs, income, and economic activity.

2003

Restore Adult Dental Care - Restore Idaho´s Dignity
In April, 2002 the Idaho Legislature eliminated adult dental care from the Medicaid program leaving participants without access to affordable dental services. Why Idaho needs to restore dental services.

2002

Medicaid and State Budgets
Idaho implemented major cuts to CHIP in an effort to decrease costs, leaving many children ineligible for healthcare coverage. Why those cuts were unneccessary and must be reversed.

Idaho´s Drug Costs on the Rise
Idaho´s state budget is increasingly burdened by rising prescription drug costs, but changes can be made to save millions of dollars.

Making Idaho´s Roads Safer
Undocumented immigrants in Idaho are unable to apply for driver´s licenses or purchase auto insurance, making the roads unsafe. Idaho must change its licensing policy to allow people without social security numbers to receive driver´s licenses.

Idaho Family Survival Package
The rising price of licenses has made many rural Idaho families unable to afford the cost of hunting and fishing - a historical source of their food supply. Creating a low-cost hunting and fishing package for low-income families will help ensure they can put food on their table.

CHIP Ensuring Every Idaho Child
As healthcare costs rise, CHIP continues to be successful and cost effective. This report explains how Idaho can continue to insure children and access more federal dollars.

2001

Bring the Harvest Home
Hunger greatly affects Idaho´s low-income families. This report covers measures the state can take to ensure families and individuals no longer go hungry.

Searching for Work that Pays
Most Idaho job openings fail to pay a living wage and are often biased by race and gender.

Medicaid Makes a Difference
Medicaid has failed to provide every Idahoan with needed coverage. However, Idaho has the opportunity to increase healthcare coverage for children and working poor families.

2000

Idaho´s SSI Policy
Low-income, Idaho families with a disabled member receiving SSI cannot access welfare. This report explains why Idaho should work to bring families of disabled people out of poverty.

Left Alone
Working, poor families in Idaho struggle to get childcare assistance through Idaho Child Care Program (ICCP). The state can improve access and increase eligibility.

Idaho´s Health Care Resources
Idaho´s non-profit hospitals are pushing families into debt and even bankruptcy while holding millions of dollars in profits. Some hospitals have converted to for-profit and have pocketed millions of community asset dollars. Idaho should take steps to ensure affordable care and protect their community assets.

Bitter Harvest
Idaho discriminates against agricultural workers from being eligible for the state´s minimum wage, resulting in poverty wages. This report calls on state legislature to ensure farmworkers get paid.

Investing in Idaho´s Families
Many Idaho families do not have healthcare insurance, but by using federal funds, Medicaid can expand so more children and working families will receive the important health coverage they need.

Empty Promises
Idaho farmworkers have no protection under the minimum wage law and are being cheated out of wages by farm labor contractors. This report explains the need for equal protection under the state´s minimum wage law and how to ensure farmworkers receive their earned wages.

1999

Public Health or Private Wealth
Saint Luke´s, Idaho's wealthiest non-profit hospital has millions in the bank and pays its top executives millions of dollars a year while turning low-income patients over to collection agencies or forcing liens upon their property. Change in hospital policies must occur.

Searching For Work That Pays
Idaho´s jobs are failing to pay workers a living wage.