Medicaid Expanded by Idaho Senate
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Senators voted 24-10 for the $2 billion Medicaid budget to care for Idaho's low-income, disabled and elderly population, though several lawmakers used debate to call for reforms. Wednesday's vote sends the measure to the House.
The sponsor, Sen. Dan Schmidt of Moscow, pointed out much of the Medicaid budget goes to pay for medical care for elderly people who live in nursing homes but have run out of financial resources at the end of their lives. Sen. Steve Thayn of Emmett opposed the measure.
Thayn didn't necessarily want it defeated, he said, but instead to take a stand for what he believes are needed changes, including reducing emergency room visits and limiting lifetime benefits. The federal government pays most of Medicaid, about $1.3 billion. Idaho taxpayers' share is $477 million.