Primary Care Bill Targets Idaho's Medicaid Gap Population

Feb 13, 2017

Representative Fred Wood, R-Burley, speaks about the plans for the Idaho Primary Care Access Program during the AP Legislative Preview at the State Capitol building on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016 in Boise, Idaho.
Credit AP

An Idaho House panel has introduced legislation that would create a new state program designed to provide basic health care to Idaho adults who currently don't have health insurance.

The Spokesman-Review reports that House Health and Welfare Committee Chairman Fred Wood, a Republican from Burley, said Monday that his $10 million proposal would be funded by a state endowment fund.

Wood's plan would only offer primary care services on a first-come, first-served basis.

Idaho's Republican-dominated Legislature has repeatedly refused to expand Medicaid — as allowed under the Affordable Care Act — to cover the estimated 78,000 Idahoans who currently don't qualify for the federal program or make too much to for a subsidy. Now with President Donald Trump vowing to repeal the law, lawmakers say they want to wait and see what happens in Congress before taking any drastic actions.

The proposal now must clear a full legislative hearing.