Idaho Lawmakers Set Final Interim Meeting About Medicaid Expansion

Oct 25, 2016

Credit Morgan / Flickr Creative Commons

A group of lawmakers met Monday at the Idaho Statehouse to continue a discussion about a possible expansion of Medicaid.

It was the fifth time the interim legislative committee met this year to figure out a solution for the estimated 78,000 people who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford insurance on the health exchange.

Republican representative and co-chairman Marv Hagedorn (R-Meridian) pitched a limited expansion of Medicaid, where the state would accept federal funds for two years – and then overhaul the entire health care system in the meantime. Sen. Steven Thayn (R-Emmett) voiced his concerns about accountability if the state expands Medicaid.

“I’m not wanting to refuse to accept federal money on primary care on principle," says Thayn. "I feel like you can’t take federal money on primary care if you’re wanting to reduce costs, because of federal rules.”

Sen. Maryanne Jordan of Boise – one of the only Democrats on the committee – says she would like to keep Medicaid expansion an option. The final committee meeting is set for November 22, where committee leaders hope to produce a bill in time for the full legislature to convene in January.

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