Health Care

Medical, Health Care
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded more than $955,000 to 14 health centers in Idaho.

According to the agency, the federal funding will help improve the quality of health care. It will also be used to boost the effectiveness of care the centers deliver to their communities.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said in a prepared statement on Tuesday that Americans deserve an affordable and accessible health care system and supporting health centers helps achieve that goal.

Health insurance premiums in Idaho will go up in 2018, between 6 and 81 percent depending on the plan you choose.  That's according to proposed increases to the price of your health care plan.

Each year, insurance companies operating in Idaho send their planned price hikes to the Department of Insurance. The proposed increases were released Monday for 2018.

The proposed average overall statewide rate increase is 38 percent. The average price for Bronze, Silver, and Gold plans are all going up, with Silver plans averaging a 50 percent increase.

twenty_questions / Flickr

The Idaho Hospital Association, the Idaho Medical Association and other experts and health care providers under the banner of the Close The Gap Idaho coalition are expressing relief after the so-called "Skinny Repeal" of the Affordable Care Act perished Thursday night.

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

Tuesday, the U.S. Senate narrowly approved a motion to proceed with GOP health care legislation. Idaho’s two senators voted in favor of the motion. Sen. Mike Crapo and Sen. Jim Risch both voted in favor of the motion, which required a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence to proceed.

The vote fell along party lines, but two Republican senators dissented.

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

Thursday, people critical of the Senate proposal to replace Obamacare staged a sit-in at Republican offices across the country. While the Senate is on recess, the protesters hoped to get the attention of their elected officials. In Boise, a group of women took a similar action – but with a maternal touch. Reporter Frankie Barnhill was there and filed this report.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

After being constructed in secret by a small group of Republican senators, a push is underway to pass a bill reforming the nation's health care system.

For perspective on what changes could be in store both nationally and in Idaho, Matt Guilhem spoke to Dr. David Pate, the President and CEO of St. Luke's Health System.

Taylor Munson / Boise State Public Radio

Residents from around the state gathered outside the offices of both Idaho Senator’s Mike Crapo and Jim Risch Wednesday and Thursday. They demonstrated in opposition to the new Senate healthcare bill, called the American Health Care Act.

 

 

The bill is similar to the one passed by the House last month, with only a few modifications. Protester Laurie Burelle is concerned with the bill’s potential impact on women’s health.

 

AP

Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter has created a new health care panel for Idaho, and appointed the retiring head of the Health and Welfare Department to lead it.

It’s called the Governor’s Health Care Advisory Panel, or HCAP, and Otter created it last week by executive order. The group’s main job will be to review new federal or state health care initiatives and report to the governor and the Idaho Legislature.

The panel will provide research and guidance on health care policies. Members will also fine-tune the state's strategy for health care policy.

Otto Kitsinger / AP

U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador says his answer to a question on health care at a recent town hall in northern Idaho wasn't very elegant.

Labrador has received criticism for his comment Friday that no one has died because they didn't have access to health care — a claim disputed by medical experts because they counter that patients without health coverage often risk waiting until their conditions have advanced too far for effective treatment.

Evan Vucci / AP

President Donald Trump urged Senate Republicans on Sunday to "not let the American people down," as the contentious debate over overhauling the U.S. health care systems shifts to Congress' upper chamber, where a vote is potentially weeks, if not months, away.

Some senators have already voiced displeasure with the health care bill that cleared the House last week, with Republicans providing all the "yes" votes in the 217-213 count. They cited concerns about potential higher costs for older people and those with pre-existing conditions, along with cuts to Medicaid.

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

A combative and sometimes angry crowd challenged Republican Rep. Raul Labrador during his town hall Wednesday night.

Labrador answered questions about everything from Planned Parenthood to public lands. At one point, he was asked whether he believes health care is a human right, to which the crowd responded with loud boos.  

“So no I do not believe that health care is a basic right," says Labrador. "When something is a right it’s something that must be provided by the government.”

Otto Kitsinger / Associated Press

As we wrap up the 11th week of the 2017 Idaho Legislative Session, lawmakers have been struggling to finish up their work and go home. For several weeks, the goal has been to end the session Friday. House Speaker Scott Bedke said on Thursday lawmakers will have to come back on Monday.

This week lawmakers struggled with a large transportation funding bill. They tried and failed to pass a bill that would have helped some of the 78,000 people in Idaho who can’t afford health insurance. And tax cuts are still a sticking point.

Kevin Rank / Flickr

Bills were flying fast and furious in and out of the Idaho House and Senate this week, as lawmakers try to meet next Friday’s deadline to wrap up the session and go home.

As week ten of the legislature comes to a close, lawmakers still haven’t solved the Medicaid Gap in Idaho. Those are the people who can’t afford health care but make too much to qualify for Medicaid. Transportation funding and a tax cut are also still in the mix.

Boise State University political science professor Gary Moncrief says there are still around 100 bills to be considered in the House and Senate.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

At least one member of Idaho's legislative delegation in Washington D.C. says he won't be supporting President Donald Trump's American Health Care Act.

Released by Republican lawmakers earlier this week, the new health care act is the much vaunted and long awaited replacement of former President Obama's healthcare law: the Affordable Care Act.

AP

Idaho residents flocked to the Capitol Friday to urge lawmakers to provide health care to the state's neediest citizens, address Idaho's medical transportation system and reform religious exemptions.

The testimony was part of the annual listening session hosted by the House and Senate Health and Welfare Committees.

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