Draft legislation to reverse some of the Medicaid service cuts approved in recent years has been introduced in a House committee. That’s according to the Idaho Council on Developmental Disabilities. Marilyn Sword, the group’s executive director, says Rep. Janice McGeachin (R-Idaho Falls) has been working on the proposal.
Rep. McGeachin, who chairs the House Health and Welfare Committee, could not be reached for comment.
Less than two weeks ago, however, she urged the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee to reverse specific cuts. One was the cut that forces Idaho Medicaid recipients with dual diagnoses to choose between skill training to manage a mental illness and skill training to manage developmental disabilities. Another was the cut that eliminated preventative and restorative dental services for adults with disabilities.
In an interview at that time, Rep. McGeachin said reinstatement of those services would cost roughly $8 million in combined federal and state funding. Between $1.5 million and $2 million of that would come from state general funds, she said.
According to a release from the Idaho Council on Developmental Disabilities, RS21366 includes these changes:
- People with dual diagnoses will not have to choose between receiving skill training for their mental illness management (PSR) or their developmental disability (developmental therapy)
- The language in HB 260 that said that budgets for adults with developmental disabilities would be placed in tiers similar to what is being done with children’s services redesign has been deleted
- Preventative and restorative dental services for adults with disabilities on the DD and A&D waiver will be allowed.
Executive Director Marilyn Sword said those changes would bring substantial relief to many Idaho Medicaid recipients. “I’m very pleased with what we were able to do,” she said. She’s hopeful the proposal will garner support. “There are so many variables — all the turnover in the legislature, the revenue projection, the revenue realities — but at least we’re going forward with a plan,” Sword said.