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Regional News

Medicaid Expansion Supporters Ask Idaho Lawmakers To Enact Without Restrictions

Center for Fiscal Policy

Advocates for Medicaid expansion are calling on Idaho lawmakers to ensure the Medicaid expansion initiative, approved by Idaho voters in November, goes into effect without any modifications.

Lauren Necochea of the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy has concerns about lawmakers' discussions of adding special work requirements for Medicaid recipients.

Necochea, who calls such restrictions “red tape”, says the administration of similar requirements in Kentucky have cost that state $167 million in the last six months.

She says work requirements in Idaho could unfairly disadvantage many, like seasonal workers.

“A construction worker who sees his hours fluctuate throughout the year could have his health care taken away. A parent who decides to home school a child would have no hours to report, even though they are occupied all day long,” she said.

Advocates say they were happy to hear that Governor Brad Little is calling for the legislature to allocate the state’s portion of the budget for the expansion.

The first year cost is estimated at $10.8 million to cover 62,000 Idahoans who don't have access to healthcare.