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Idaho Legislative Committee Votes Unanimously To Introduce Medicaid Expansion Bill

The House Health and Welfare Committee this morning voted unanimously to introduce a pair of bills that would expand Medicaid eligibility in Idaho and eliminate the state’s catastrophic health care fund. The Medicaid expansion is a key component of the federal Affordable Care Act. Rep. Tom Loertscher (R-Iona), who presented the bills, says expanding eligibility […]

Idaho’s Health And Welfare Director Sets Different Tone For Budget Process

After the recession years of cutting staff and budgets at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, the department’s director says the agency is now “hanging on” and is asking lawmakers to fund 24.9 new full time positions. Health and Welfare director Dick Armstrong approached the Legislature’s main budget panel yesterday with a different tone […]

Why 70,000 People Will Join Idaho’s Medicaid Rolls In 2014

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare estimates that 70,340 people will join Idaho’s Medicaid rolls next year, department chief Richard Armstrong told the Legislature’s Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee today. This isn’t news to people who have watched Idaho wrestle with the Affordable Care Act; a November report from independent consulting group Milliman projected the enrollment […]

Taking Stock Of The Downturn’s Effect On State Education And Medicaid Spending

A National Association of State Budget Officers report shows states are spending a greater share of their general fund dollars on Medicaid, and a smaller share on education.  The Washington Post‘s Wonkblog has summarized and graphed the findings. In Idaho, total general fund spending on education has fallen by 11.6 percent since fiscal year 2009, […]

Group Studying Idaho Medicaid Expansion May Make Recommendation To Gov. Otter Today

The working group that is studying whether Idaho should expand its Medicaid program holds its third — and perhaps final — meeting today.  The group established by Governor Otter in July is charged with understanding the implications of expanding Medicaid eligibility to adults living at or below 138 percent of the poverty line. The Medicaid […]

Idaho Spends Nearly $200,000 To Study Medicaid Expansion

Idaho has spent at least $195,000 to study how expanding Medicaid could impact people and the state’s budget. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has contracted with two out-of-state consulting firms, Utah-based Leavitt Partners and Seattle-based Milliman. Under the federal health reform law, which was recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, states can […]

Idaho’s Medicaid Expansion Workgroup Explores Three Options

Between 97,000 and 111,000 additional Idahoans would be eligible for Medicaid if the state chooses to expand eligibility.  But where would those people come from?  Close to half would migrate from four other state programs already in place to help low-income residents with medical needs. Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter must decide if Idaho will expand […]

Should Idaho Expand Its Medicaid Program? Some Answers Could Lie Here

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare now has a $100,000 study on Idaho’s Medicaid program in its hands.  The department commissioned the study in April, in preparation for the Medicaid expansion that was then required under the Affordable Care Act. In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling, which made the Medicaid expansion optional […]

Idaho’s Uninsured: Rural Counties Post Highest Rates

In five Idaho counties, at least 29 percent of residents are uninsured.  In two — Clark and Owyhee — the rate tops 32 percent.  That’s much above Idaho’s state average of 20.3 percent, which is itself higher than the national average of just over 16 percent. The county-level data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s […]

Medicaid Expansion Could Add 100,000 To Idaho Rolls

The first meeting of Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s Medicaid expansion working group is underway.  The group is charged with providing input to the governor as he weighs whether the state should expand its Medicaid program, as prescribed under President Obama’s health care law. The biggest news out of today’s meeting so far: an additional 90,000 […]

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