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Idaho GOP Aim to Revamp Medicaid not Expand it

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Republicans dampened expectations about broadening Medicaid eligibility this year, saying they want to overhaul Idaho’s existing system to encourage beneficiaries to take more responsibility.

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill told reporters yesterday taking more federal money without revamping government-backed health care for the poor and disabled wasn’t acceptable. President Obama’s health care overhaul envisioned adding more low-income single people to the entitlement program, but the U.S. Supreme Court left the decision up to states.

Idaho is among 25 states that haven’t followed along. House Minority Leader John Rusche said this GOP’s reluctance was a sign lawmakers would avoid “tough discussions” in 2014. They made their comments during The Associated Press’s legislative preview, a taste of what’s to come in the session starting Monday.

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