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Suit Filed to Stop Medicaid Expansion in Idaho



The Idaho Freedom Foundation has followed through with its promise to sue the state over Proposition Two, which expands Medicaid in Idaho.

The conservative think tank fought against Medicaid expansion during the campaign. Following the passage of the initiative by a 60% majority, the group expressed concerns that the wording of the proposition may conflict with Idaho’s constitution.

Now it has filed suit against the Idaho Secretary of State, claiming that Proposition Two is unconstitutional.

The Freedom Foundation’s Fred Birnbaum says the wording of the initiative is problematic because it expressly gives the Department of Health and Welfare “sweeping and general delegation of legislative power without standards” to amend the current law.

“So, basically, we view this potentially as an unconstitutional delegation of authority of the legislature to an executive branch, the Department of Health and Welfare,” said Birnbaum.

Prop Two proponent Emily Strizich says her organization vetted the material before it was put on the ballot.

“When we first putting together the initiative, we not only had legal counsel, but the process requires that you submit an initial proposal to the attorney general, so the wording to the bill was thoroughly vetted by the attorney general. This is kind of a last-ditch effort from the Freedom Foundation, who lost the election in a landslide, 60/40, and this is a last ditch effort to delay implementation of the Medicaid expansion in Idaho,” she said.

Birnbaum said he could not predict the lawsuit’s chances of success, but the organization wanted a chance to argue it be overturned in front of the highest court in Idaho.

Steve was part of the Spokane Public Radio family for many years before he came on air in 1999. His wife, Laurie, produced Radio Ethiopia in the late 1980s through the '90s, and Steve used to “lurk in the shadowy world” of Weekend SPR. Steve has done various on air shifts at the station, including nearly 15 years as the local Morning Edition host. Currently, he is the voice of local weather and news during All Things Considerd, writing, editing, producing and/or delivering newscasts and features for both KPBX and KSFC. Aside from SPR, Steve ,who lives in the country, enjoys gardening, chickens, playing and listening to music, astronomy, photography, sports cars and camping.
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