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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.

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.