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Indigent Costs Expected to Rise

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho counties rely on local property taxes and money from the state’s general fund to cover the catastrophic medical costs of poor residents who can’t pay their medical bills. The Spokesman-Review reports those costs have ballooned over the past decade, jumping from $19 million in 2000 to a projected $60 million this year. But those costs would no longer be handled through county budgets under the federal Affordable Care Act, which would expand Medicaid to cover those expenses almost entirely with federal money. Gov. Butch Otter says he hasn’t yet decided whether the state should resist taking part in the Affordable Care Act. He’s waiting for the results of a working group that’s studying the issue.

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