Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter’s 11th State of the State address Monday focused on a number of key issues in the state. But one area the governor spent little time discussing was what’s known as the Medicaid gap, which impacts an estimated 78,000 Idahoans.
But as the fate of the Affordable Care Act is murky under a Republican controlled Congress and presidency, the chance that Medicaid will be expanded in Idaho is lower than ever. That’s according to Republican state Sen. Marv Hagedorn. But he says the need to do something for this gap population remains clear.
“We have a population that’s hurting," Hagedorn says. "They’re unhealthy and they’re costing all the rest of us a lot of money because they go to the emergency room. And so…get that population healthy again, and start to bend the cost curve of what we need to do to start to reduce our insurance premiums.”
Hagedorn chaired an interim committee that looked at alternatives to Medicaid over the summer. He says he plans to introduce a bill to address the health care gap, likely by the end of January, and knows of at least one other legislator's bill in the works.
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