BOISE - More than 100 people gathered to deliver more than 70,000 signatures to the Idaho Secretary of State's Office on Friday.
It’s all in hopes of putting a Medicaid initiative on the November ballot. The signatures were gathered from 44 counties across Idaho and verified in June.
According to organizers, 62,000 Idahoans are slipping through the cracks in our health care system. And they want it to stop.
“I’ve seen people without health care, I’ve seen people die because of lack of health care. This is a very emotional day, said Bill Thomas, a supporter of the initiative. “More and more people know health care is a right not a privilege and no one should go to bed at night without that coverage.”
Volunteers, organizations and city and state leaders attended the rally.
“It's really exciting to see that the people have spoken… as a physician, I obviously see patients who don’t have access to health care,” said Bruce Belzer, a family physician and treasurer for Idahoans for Health Care.
The crowd passed boxes filled with signed petitions from person to person, until each box landed in the Secretary of State's Office.
“I've never seen an issue like this with such positive response to people of all political persuasion and all walks of life,” Thomas said.
According to Rep. Christy Perry, this initiative will not only help those in need, but put money back into our economy and not another state's economy.
“This is really a fiscally responsible policy for our state,” Rep. Perry said.
The Secretary of State's Office will now need to give final approval in order for the initiative to appear on the November ballot.