The House Health and Welfare Committee has given unanimous support to a bill that would reinstate key Medicaid services, in the wake of deep cuts last session.
“Since the legislation was passed last year, we have learned more about the impact of some of these cuts on certain populations,” Chairwoman Rep. Janice McGeachin (R-Idaho Falls) said, introducing the measure.
The bill, HB 609, would reinstate preventative and restorative dental services for adults who are eligible for an institutional level of care through Medicaid. It would also ensure that people with dual diagnoses will not have to choose between receiving skill training for mental illness management or for a developmental disability.
In explaining the second of those changes, McGeachin acknowledged that part of HB 260, last session’s bill to reduce the Medicaid budget, was not properly written. “The original intent was to ensure that participants in either of those categories weren’t receiving the same skills on one level, through mental health, and on another level, through [developmental disability],” she said.
“It was our legislation that wasn’t written correctly and needed to have further clarification and definition to make sure that we accomplished our intent.”
Instead of ensuring that Medicaid recipients with mental health problems and developmental disabilities were not receiving the same services twice, last session’s cuts have forced recipients with dual diagnoses to choose which of their diagnoses to manage through skill training.
That loss of services has had profound effects for at least one Idaho Medicaid recipient, as StateImpact has reported.