Lawmakers Agree to Disagree on Medicaid Alternatives
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A small group of Idaho lawmakers has agreed they won't be coming to a consensus on the best way to provide medical care to the estimated 78,000 Idahoans without health coverage after spending months reviewing the issue.
Instead, the 10-member panel will meet once more before the 2017 Idaho Legislature convenes to finalize a list of recommendations to be submitted to lawmakers. Republican Sen. Marv Hagedorn, co-chair of the interim committee, says he expects addressing the so-called Medicaid gap will be accomplished through a variety of bills next year.
The recommendation report will serve as a guideline for any future proposals. Idaho's Republican-dominant Legislature has repeatedly refused to expand eligibility for Medicaid, citing that accepting federal dollars comes with too many regulations. Medicaid is a federal health care program designed to cover the poor.