Saturday, March 23, 2013

AP: Medicaid Expansion Not On Idaho Legislature's To-Do List Before Sine Die

Posted By on Sat, Mar 23, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Claiming the clock is working against them and they're anxious to leave the Statehouse in the first week of April, lawmakers said March 22 that they won't take up any effort to expand Medicaid during the 2013 Legislature.

The Associated Press quoted House Speaker Scott Bedke as saying the potentital merits of expansion shouldn't be overlooked but "we are going to be done by Friday. I don't think we can give that issue the proper vetting it deserves."

The AP's John Miller reported that Republican "exhaustion" has settled in following the Idaho House's and Senate's lengthy debates, prior to their aproval of a state-run health care insurance exchange, championed by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter.

"Politics are what's going to block it," Lewiston Democrat Rep. John Rusche, House Minority Leader, told the AP.

Meanwhile, a state-funded report released last week revealed that state and local taxpayers could realize tens of millions of dollars in savings over the next decade if Medicaid were to be expanded to cover more low-income Idaho residents, thus putting less financial strain on Idaho county's indigent funds.

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