Some may call it Luke and Garrett's Excellent Adventure. And, if it turns out as effective as these two dynamic young men envision, a whole lot more residents in Idaho will consider the saga of the Medicaid Mobile much more personally meaningful than simply an adventure.
Luke Mayville and Garrett Strizich's "Reclaim Idaho" effort to reaching out to and informing citizens throughout Idaho could be lifesaving to many, especially with their goal of protecting and expanding Medicaid in our state.
What began with as an enthusiastic and insightful rally at Sandpoint's Farmin Park last night begins in earnest today with the refashioned 1976 Dodge RV aka Medicaid Mobile traveling through Idaho and making 20 stops statewide.
First stop today 12 noon at Georgia Mae Plaza in downtown Bonners Ferry; tomorrow City Park Band Shell in Coeur d'Alene at 6 p.m. And, then on through the state, including stops at regional offices to address their issues to Idaho's national legislators.
Standing on a milk crate and holding a megaphone (both donated to the cause), Luke stressed that they fully expect to talk with Idaho's Senators and Congressional Representatives along the way.
In addition, they'll speak to gatherings and reach out to local lawmakers and officials in hopes of drawing support to protect Medicaid for Idahoans and to work for an enhanced Medicaid program which will provide coverage 78,000 Idahoans in working families who have fallen into the Medicaid gap.
Last night's rally, which included talks by a local doctor, a social worker and two physicians' assistants, highlighted the numbers of deaths which resulted because of no coverage, medical bankrupties which make up for 50 percent of bankrupties and stories of working people whose salaries keep them in a gap where they cannot receive coverage.
In addition, audience members told of instances where people had died or have fallen deep into debt because of no coverage and staggering medical costs.
When the rally ended, petition signing began ON THE RV, literally. By the time the Medicaid Mobile finishes its mission (the team has a support car in case of breakdowns), the bright green vehicle will be covered with signatures from around the state.
It's a novel idea. Luke and Garrett are bright young men AND COMMITTED to their cause. Good luck to them, and, if you're reading this and know people in any of the Idaho communities listed above, please pass this information along with the www.reclaimidaho.org to folks you know in those communities.
Encourage them to come out and listen, to buy a T-shirt and to participate in this creative and well-directed grass roots adventure toward improving and protecting our public education system, our public lands and specifically on this segment, our state's Medicaid program.
Carry on, Luke and Garrett. We are proud of you and we appreciate what you are doing for the residents of our state.
Enjoy the photos and faces from last night's rally.
|Sandpoint's Luke Mayville, a Columbia University professor, author and co-founder of Reclaim Idaho|
|The Radford father-son duo and Mom are Reclaim Idaho volunteers.|
|Cynthia Dalsing, PA and educator Linda Navarre.|
|Dr. Scott Dunn|
|Reclaim Idaho co-founder Garrett Strizich begins medical school in the fall.|
|Store owner Ben Tate and retired educator Kim Keaton.|
|Reclaim Idaho volunteer Linda Larson provides an anecdote.|
|Linda Byars, BJ Biddle, Nancy Renk and Linda Navarre show of the Reclaim Idaho T-shirts.|
|Sharpies will serve as the signing tool of choice for the Medicaid Mobile.|
|Local videographer Chuck Smith.|
|Cynthia Dalsing and Mary Fiedler, both Physician's Assistants, spoke at the rally.|
|Reclaim Idaho volunteer and local lawyer Megan Johnson and her buddy Oliver.|
|Longtime local Tim Cochran and Garrett Strizich.|
|KRFY FM 88.5 Radio personality Suzy Prez.|
|Retired Seattle Times editorial page editor and Sandpoint educational activist Mindy Cameron.|
|First person to sign the Medicaid Mobile and Reclaim Idaho volunteer Nancy Gerth.|
|Happy Birthday today to local author and Reclaim Idaho volunteer Nancy Renk.|
|Luke's mom and cousin, Linda and Ruth, respectively. Both have volunteered for Reclaim Idaho.|
|Local retired educators Betsy Walker and BJ Biddle.|
|Avid Reclaim Idaho volunteers and sisters, Sally and Judy Moon.|
|Local educator Rick Price.|