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Regional News

Bills That Challenged Medicaid Expansion In Idaho Die In Committee

Legislation aimed at derailing Idaho’s Medicaid expansion was shot down in the Idaho House Thursday.

Two bills were presented to the House Health and Welfare Committee that would have repealed the voter-approved Medicaid expansion initiative. Both were introduced by Rep. John Green (R-Post Falls).

Green said at the hearing he felt many Idaho voters were not well informed about specifics of the Medicaid expansion, particularly when it came to funding.

“Without exception, every single person that I asked that question did not know there was no funding included with the mandate that we implement Medicaid expansion. So the public was not well informed. And even if the public is informed, we know from personal experience sometimes even government officials aren’t informed. So if our small group can’t keep on top of it, how can the public keep on top of it?” Green said.

But the Health and Welfare Committee chair, Rep. Fred Wood, disagreed. He said, in his district, there was robust discussion of the issue, especially about funding, leading up to the election.

“I don’t know about the rest of the state, but I can tell you in legislative district 27, on multiple occasions, on the airwaves, etc, the voters were informed, at least in that district," Wood said. "So I don’t buy the argument in my district that the voters weren’t informed about exactly what they were buying and where the money was going to come from, and what it was going to do."

One bill called for an outright repeal of the Medicaid expansion. The other was a sunset clause that would have repealed the expansion in 2022 unless savings were realized in that time frame. Neither made it out of committee.