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Idaho Not Sure How Many will Sign Up for Medicaid

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Department of Health and Welfare director Dick Armstrong isn’t certain just how many of the estimated 35,000 Idaho residents who are eligible for government-funded Medicaid health care but so far haven’t signed up will be added to the program’s rolls this year.

Armstrong spoke to the Joint Finance Appropriations budget committee yesterday about the so-called “woodwork effect.” That’s the term applied to Medicaid-eligible people now likely to sign up, following enactment of President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care overhaul that requires nearly everybody to have coverage.

They’re coming out of the “woodwork,” hence the term. Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter aims to set aside $5 million — in addition to a federal match expected to be roughly $14 million — pay for Medicaid coverage for people being added to the system.

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