Medicaid

Mitchell Ponting
Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

When the 2013 legislative session wraps up, a big policy question will remain: Will the state make Medicaid available to a greater number of Idaho’s poor? The federal health care law encourages that move. It’s a debate that involves potential costs and savings, along with patient well-being. And it turns quickly to chronic conditions, like mental illness.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Last year, we told you about a group of stakeholders working together to create a state plan to help Alzheimer’s patients and their families.  The Idaho Alzheimer's Planning Group has now released that plan. 

State of Idaho

A Republican lawmaker says he will bring forward a bill to expand Idaho's Medicaid program this week. That's after Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter said lawmakers should wait on the issue.

Rep. Tom Loertscher (R-Bone) plans to introduce two bills on Thursday.

One would dissolve Idaho's Catastrophic Health Care Program. That's the program that helps medically indigent Idahoans who don't qualify for state or federal health care aid.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Dental care for low-income adults.  Help for physical and mental disabilities.  Expanding Idaho’s Medicaid.  Those were some of the issues that came up during a public hearing Friday during a joint meeting of the Legislature’s Health and Welfare Committees.   

Whether or not Idaho expands Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act, the state needs to pour more money into the program.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

More than 236,000 Idahoans are currently enrolled in Medicaid.  That’s the federal-state funded health care program for low-income adults and children.  If the state chooses to expand eligibility in Idaho to 138 percent of poverty, 100,000 people could join the rolls.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter has created two groups to study Idaho’s health care options under the federal Affordable Care Act.

As some Republican governor’s across the U.S. are rejecting key components of President Obama’s health care law, Gov. Otter has said Idaho’s best bet is to carefully examine expanding Medicaid and creating a health insurance exchange.

Idaho Could Save Money By Expanding Medicaid

Jul 13, 2012
Lawerence Denney
Boise State Public Radio

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter

Courtesy Will Cavanauagh

Last week, Boise resident Will Cavanaugh, 77, found an email in his inbox.  It was from left-leaning political action group MoveOn.org.  Would he like to write a petition about anything?  “Sure,” he thought.  Healthcare was on his mind, given the recent Supreme Court ruling.  “How about the Medicaid expansion?”

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