BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho health care proposal to provide insurance to the state's neediest population is once again dead for the year.

House lawmakers on Wednesday avoided debate on the merits of the health care bill but instead voted to send the proposal back to the House Health and Welfare Committee after an emotional and lengthy debate. The same chamber held a similar vote on the same bill earlier this year.

The Republican-dominant Legislature has refused to address the state's so-called Medicaid gap population for nearly six years. This year in particular was considered a difficult challenge because every state lawmaker is up for re-election in May.

About 51,000 to 62,000 working Idahoans are believed to be in the gap population that earns too much to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to qualify for insurance subsidies.

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