Idaho Republicans seek to limit Medicaid expansion approved by voters


This decision follows a similar action in Utah last month, where GOP lawmakers approved a law limiting the scope of a measure also passed in mid-November. In a total of four states, voters turned to the ballot box to bypass Republican lawmakers who refused to adopt the Obamacare widening Medicaid provision.

The Idaho legislature is considering a bill that would require some new eligible hires to work 120 hours per month to maintain their benefits, which is far superior to most of the proposals relating to the labor requirements of the government. ;State.

The bill would also require the state health department to question participants about the use of drugs so that they can be referred for treatment. And it aims to allow people just above the poverty line to receive federal grants to buy private coverage on the Obamacare stock exchange.

Under the bill, the extension of Medicaid would be totally eliminated if the reimbursement by the federal government was less than 90% of the cost of the program.

Many of these measures require the approval of the federal government and would cost the state nearly $ 1.6 million annually, almost all of which arises from the administration of the work mandate.

Some 91,000 people would be covered and the state would receive $ 400 million in federal matching funds as part of the ballot measure, which received 61% of the vote in November. The expansion is expected to begin next year.

The Republican governor of the time, Butch Otter, approved the initiative a few days before the elections, saying that he was in favor of expanding health insurance to those who needed it. His successor, Brad Little, said he would honor the will of the people, but would continue his efforts to contain health care costs and move people from Medicaid to private coverage.

The goal of the bill, which will be heard by a committee on Friday and could be voted on by the House as early as next week, is to give residents the opportunity to escape poverty, said Representative John Vander Woude, sponsor of the bill. He has already consulted Little and the Senate of the State.

"Some people think it's an obstacle, I think it's a help," Vander Woude said, noting that many beneficiaries were probably already working. "It will help them climb the ladder of their income to become self-sufficient."

Proponents of the expansion, however, said the legislation could remove coverage for more than 10,000 Idahoans and cost the state and local governments millions of dollars, in part to cover the needs of the state. health care of uninsured persons.

"Voters sent a very clear message," Reclaim Idaho co-founder Luke Mayville told the group, noting that he had won in 29 of the 35 legislative constituencies. "There should be no question of what voters want."

Republicans in Utah limit elector-approved Medicaid expansion
In Utah, Republican legislators have adopted a measure to limit coverage to people below the poverty line, instead of 138% of that threshold, as provided by the Obamacare provision to extend Medicaid. The poverty line is about $ 12,500 for one person and $ 25,750 for a family of four.

The law of Utah, which is still awaiting federal approval, would also add work requirements, impose a per capita cap on expenditures and close the program to new registrants if the costs exceed budgeted funds.

Maine's New Governor Continues Expansion of Medicaid
The Medicaid expansion is continuing in two other states where voters have approved it. The Democratic governor of Maine, Janet Mills, implemented the program in January after her Republican predecessor, Paul LePage, blocked it for over a year. And the expansion is expected to take effect next year in Nebraska after residents approved a voting move in November.
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