[Vision2020] (no subject)

Ron Force ronforce at gmail.com
Tue Feb 2 17:48:53 PST 2016

>From *Eye on Boise*, Spokesman Review:

TUESDAY, FEB. 2, 2016, 3:01 P.M.Doctor’s chilling testimony: ‘The Idaho
Legislature is unfortunately responsible for those deaths’

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Dr. Kenneth Krell, director of critical care at Eastern Idaho Regional
Medical Center in Idaho Falls, offered chilling testimony to senators today
about Idaho’s failure to expand Medicaid to cover 78,000 Idahoans who now
fall into a coverage gap. “I see those patients on a near-daily basis
through the emergency room who present with end-stage disease,” he said,
“dying, often, because those disease processes are now at an end state and
have resulted in organ failure that often results in death or really
irreparable damage.” He described caring for Jenny Steinke, who died from

“Jenny’s case for me really crystallized what’s wrong here,” he told
senators. “And I kept asking myself, how could this be? How could, in a
state like Idaho where we care about each other, could I be seeing deaths
and really damaging illness on a nearly daily basis as a result of failure
to expand Medicaid that cost tangible lives? It’s difficult to understand.”

He said there’s been debate about how many lives are lost each year because
of Idaho’s failure to expand Medicaid. “I think the best statistics come
from a study in the New England Journal a couple of years ago,” he said.
“It compared states who accepted Medicaid expansion with a neighboring
state that did not. In that study it was found that the failure to expand
Medicaid cost 19.7 lives per 100,000 population. If we extrapolate that …
that’s about 324 lives a year. That is: Nearly one patient per day dies in
this state as a result of not having Medicaid expansion. And that’s a
direct result of that failure to obtain care at a stage when the disease
process could be treated effectively and not only death, but
hospitalization and illness prevented.”

Krell said, “It’s been said that perhaps it’s an ideological difference,
that we just don’t want to accept federal dollars. But if that were true, I
don’t see that we would see many in the Legislature accepting federal
dollars for federal farm subsidies. … All of us have insurance, and it
hasn’t led to dependency on our part. I could only come to one inescapable
conclusion: That the Idaho Legislature is unfortunately responsible for
those deaths. Our intransigence in failing to pass Medicaid expansion for
the last three years has probably resulted in over 1,000 deaths in this
state. Please help us. I would ask you to please stop the killing. Thank
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