Idaho Medicaid Expansion Repeals Fail In Committee

Feb 21, 2019

Two attempts to repeal Idaho’s Medicaid expansion were swatted down by a House committee Thursday.

The first proposal would’ve immediately shredded the state’s expansion law on the books.

Rep. Julianne Young (R-Blackfoot) says she would’ve supported the program – if she felt voters had all the facts.

But Young says, “The voters were not given accurate information about the likely costs of Medicaid expansion and the threat to Idaho’s budget.”

Another measure from Rep. John Green (R-Post Falls) would’ve ended the program in summer of 2022.

“Basically, what the voters have done is set a big hole in front of us and told the legislature to jump in and I, for one, am not comfortable doing so without a parachute. I think it would be irresponsible for us. We don’t know how deep the hole is, we don’t know what’s at the bottom.”

Green says he wants a “lifeline” in case costs for the expansion balloon out of control.

Four Republicans joined the House Health and Welfare Committee’s three Democrats in voting down both proposals by a 7-5 vote.

That includes Rep. Fred Wood (R-Burley), the committee’s chairman.

Wood rejected the idea that voters weren’t aware of what they were voting for – they approved it by a supermajority.

“I wished we could go back and redo a bunch of presidential elections and some gubernatorial elections and a few other things that I was on the losing side of, but we don’t get a chance to do that,” he says.

Several other proposals that would tack on restrictions like work requirements and copays for those enrolled under the Medicaid expansion have yet to be introduced.

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