Idaho healthcare task force seeks inputJul 21st, 2016 | By Sarah Glenn | Category: Health care
BOISE – This summer and fall, a legislative task force will prepare policy recommendations on health care coverage for Idahoans in the health care coverage gap. These recommendations will be considered by the Legislature during the 2017 session.
The task force invites members of the public to submit comments and information for the task force’s consideration. Please send your submission to:
Legislative Services Office
State Capitol, Rm. W133
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0054
ebowen (at) lso.idaho.gov
Lawmakers exploring health care alternatives for poor Idahoans convened Tuesday at a hearing where off-topic detours underscored lingering ideological differences that have blocked consensus on a resolution.
“I think that this whole thing comes down to what’s becoming very accepted in our culture today, and that is not accepting responsibility for yourself,” said Sen. Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston.
The issue is how to improve health care for 78,000 Idahoans who, despite their low incomes, earn too much to be eligible for Medicaid but not enough to qualify for subsidized health coverage available via the exchange that Idaho created under the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The ACA included a provision to expand Medicaid to cover such gap populations. But the 2012 Supreme Court ruling that upheld the health law also made expansion optional for states. So far Idaho remains one of 19 states that have declined expansion. Among the rest, several have sought and received federal waivers to implement customized programs that give them greater control over how federal Medicaid dollars are spent.
Idaho health officials and Gov. Butch Otter’s administration support such an approach, and two governor-appointed commissions have endorsed it, to no avail.