Idaho officials taking comments on Medicaid expansion waiver

(Medicaid: )
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BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Idaho officials are taking public comments on a Medicaid waiver that would require patients to get a referral from a primary physician before they can get family planning services like birth control, abortions or pregnancy care.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare late Wednesday said it will take comments through Oct. 12 on the waiver that's required when the state wants to deviate from standard Medicaid rules.

State officials say the referral requirement will lead to better patient outcomes.

Critics say it's an attempt to prevent women from seeking medical help.

The waiver is among several lawmakers earlier this year attached to a voter-approved law expanding Medicaid.

Federal officials last month rejected a waiver allowing those who qualify for Medicaid to instead stay on the state's health insurance exchange.

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