Most Idahoans are unhappy with the Legislature's inaction on Medicaid expansion but supported doing away with the requirement for a pistol permit within city limits, according to the latest polling released by Idaho Politics Weekly.
This year's legislative session ended without any action from lawmakers on addressing health coverage for the estimated 78,000 uninsured Idahoans in the "Medicaid gap," and the polling, done by the Salt Lake City firm Dan Jones and Associates, found 64 percent of respondents disagree with this action, while 30 percent agree and 7 percent didn't know.
A plurality of even Republicans wanted to see some of action — 49 percent, while 41 percent agreed with doing nothing and 10 percent didn't know. Democrats and independents strongly support doing something, by 87 percent and 67 percent, respectively.
The 2016 session started with a $30 million state-funded proposal from the governor's office to extend primary care coverage to those in the gap, but this plan never got much traction. It ended with the Senate passing, but the House voting down, a proposal to authorize the Department of Health and Welfare to apply for a waiver to get federal funding for a state-designed Medicaid expansion plan. Legislative leaders said they would appoint a work group of lawmakers to study the issue before the 2017 session starts.
The poll found, though, that a majority agreed with the Legislature's action in repealing the need for a concealed carry permit within city limits. Since one wasn't needed outside of a city before, the repeal means that Idahoans who can legally carry a concealed weapon generally don't need a permit to carry anywhere in the state, with a couple of limited exceptions such as college campuses.
The poll found 57 percent of people agreed with the new law, which takes effect July 1, while 40 percent opposed it. Republicans favor the change 76-22, and independents back it 55-43, while Democrats oppose it with 19 percent in favor and 76 percent against.
The poll of 603 adults was done from April 8 to 19 and has a 4 percent margin of error.