Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter said this week that he will form working groups to study the two big questions arising from the Supreme Court’s health care ruling. Those are: should Idaho establish a state-run health insurance exchange? And should it adopt the Medicaid expansion provided for under the Affordable Care Act?
One of the main arguments that favors Medicaid expansion is that the state would actually save money by expanding eligibility, given the substantial costs of the state’s Catastrophic Health Care, or CAT, fund. (That fund pays the medical bills of indigent Idahoans, who, as a recent report from the fund puts it, “have fallen through the cracks of the welfare system, or have inadequate insurance to meet the financial responsibilities when their medical costs are of catastrophic proportions.”)