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Idaho Medicaid Budget Request on Par with Last Year

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The head of Idaho’s Department of Health and Welfare has requested a Medicaid budget for 2014 that’s on par with last year’s funding. Director Dick Armstrong presented a request Tuesday to legislative budget writers that is flat for state funds and just a 7.6 percent increase overall when federal money is added. Armstrong says the agency isn’t asking for anything more than necessary.

The budget request — also recommended by Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter — is for $467.7 million in general fund money, up just 0.5 percent from 2013. The Spokesman-Review reports (http://bit.ly/Xcit7P) the total Medicaid budget is at $2.06 billion, with federal funds making up the bulk. Armstrong says the caseload in the health care program for the poor and disabled has slowed as Idaho’s economy has improved.

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