Do you dream big? Are you pursuing the American dream? Got a great idea you want to develop? Idaho is not for you. Why? Because Idaho Legislators are ignoring the plight of their most creative constituents.

The bottom line is, unless you’re independently wealthy, Idaho is a bad place to start a business.

Take Bill’s experiences in the Gem State (his name has been changed). A few years ago Bill and his wife relocated their burgeoning tech business to Idaho. They were excited to be here until they were faced with Idaho’s broken healthcare system.

Shortly after the move, Bill’s wife began experiencing extreme back pain. Then an MRI revealed that she had a blockage in her spinal cord directly behind her heart. She needed surgery.

78,000-Idahoans-in-gap2That’s where the nightmare began. Bill and his wife made too much money to qualify for Medicaid and too little to afford health insurance on the state exchange. They were in the gap. And the doctor wouldn’t schedule the surgery unless Bill and his wife came up with $50,000.

Their situation isn’t because Bill is lazy or shiftless. Quite the opposite. He’s developing his own brand of security software. As an entrepreneur, he works long, long hours for very little pay. It’s normal for a start up company.

Tragically, the state’s way of dealing with working adults who need emergency catastrophic healthcare is to force them to beg for financial assistance from county commissioners. Bill did that. He was denied.

Now Idaho is slowly bleeding Bill out of his dreams and aspirations. His wife is often bedridden. To save money, she doesn’t take all her medications. They can’t afford to buy a month of medications, so they buy a week or two at a time, which forces more trips to the doctor. That translates into more expenses.

Meanwhile, the ripple effects prevent Bill from marketing and selling his software. That causes more financial strain, which puts the possibility of a surgery further in doubt.

“… the doctor wouldn’t schedule the surgery unless Bill and his wife came up with $50,000.”

Bill moved here to start a company, hoping to bring jobs and wealth to Idaho. He gives back to the community, volunteering with a Boise State University program as a mentor for other entrepreneurs.

He was chasing the American dream of building a company from scratch. Now he’s borrowing money just to pay rent while his wife suffers needlessly.

“It’s debilitating,” he says.System-from-1800s2

Idaho’s healthcare system for working adults who fall in the gap is horrendous. Conservatives refuse to expand Medicaid because they despise anything associated with Obamacare.

That vitriol has made Idaho a bad state to be an entrepreneur.

If Republican lawmakers don’t want to expand Medicaid, fine. They need to show some leadership and show us a plan to fix Broken Idaho.

Sign the petition demanding our State Legislators fix broken Idaho.

If you can offer Bill and his wife assistance, please contact Better Idaho at derek@dev.betteridaho.org.