Health Care

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

The federal government weighed in on Idaho’s attempt to skirt provisions in the Affordable Care Act. On Thursday, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sent a letter to state leaders warning them they were on thin ice with the proposed policies.

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A bill that would restore dental coverage to some Idaho Medicaid patients passed the House Health and Welfare Committee Tuesday.

Alex Proimos / Flickr

The state of Idaho is attempting to lower insurance premiums by proposing policies that scrap key provisions established in the Affordable Care Act. Called legally dubious by some opponents, the state’s attempt at closing the so-called insurance gap in the Gem State by disregarding Obamacare mandates is thought to be the first of its kind in the nation.

AP Photo/Otto Kitsinger

Idaho Governor Butch Otter (R) signed an Executive Order Friday that would allow insurance companies to create new health care plans that shave off some of the requirements of the Affordable Health Care Act.

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

The latest attempt by Republican senators to repeal the Affordable Care Act is still looking for the 51 votes necessary to pass it this month. Known as the Graham-Cassidy bill, the policy would repeal Medicaid expansion for low-income folks and revoke the premium tax credits that are mainstays of Obamacare.

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.



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.