It finally happened. The 2016 presidential election—as if such a sprawling, emotionally harrowing experience can be shorthanded in three words—finally reached its gotterdammerung Jan. 20 on the rainy streets of Washington, D.C. Donald Trump is president of the United States. Now we all have to figure out what that really means.
Among the most pressing concerns for many Americans—particularly in Idaho—is the fate of the Affordable Care Act. Congress and Trump are both hell bent on scrapping the signature law of former-President Barack Obama, but while the rhetoric has been plentiful, there has been a paucity of detail on what might replace it.
That doesn't sit well with many of the more than 100,000 Idahoans (to date) who have secured health insurance through the ACA. Should federal subsidies to offset the cost of insurance go away, it would affect up to 87 percent of Idahoans who signed up for insurance through the state exchange Your Health Idaho. If the law is scrapped in its entirety, the number of uninsured people in Idaho could swell to 366,000, according to some estimates.
This week, Boise Weekly freelancer Sami Edge took the temperature of Idaho's mood ahead of the possible dismantling of the ACA, including checking in with the insurance exchange, Your Health Idaho enrollees who are worried they'll lose coverage, and those who think less government involvement in health care is to be preferred.
We also feature a recap from Cameron Rasmusson, who spent Trump's inaugural weekend in the nation's capital. Rasmusson, a semi-regular BW contributor and editor-in-chief of the Sandpoint Reader weekly newspaper in northern Idaho, found a measure of division in D.C., but also earnest attempts at unity.
Finally, check out a selection of photos from the historic Women's March on Idaho, which filled downtown Boise on Jan. 21 and reminded us that even in a season of uncertainty, there's strength in standing together in support of our common rights and decency.