UPDATED: Bill that could void Idaho Medicaid expansion to get hearing

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Legislation to make Medicaid expansion in Idaho null and void if the federal government changes the percentage it pays for the program in Idaho will get a hearing.

The Senate Health and Welfare Committee on Monday voted 5-4 to hold the hearing on the bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Mary Souza of Coeur d'Alene that also authorizes an optional workforce training program.

The legislation contains a clause voiding Medicaid expansion if the federal funding ratio of 90 percent changes and the Idaho Legislature doesn't take action to continue the program.

Voters authorized Medicaid expansion with an initiative in November that passed with 61 percent approval after years of inaction by the Idaho Legislature.

The expansion will provide access to preventative health care services for about 91,000 low-income Idaho residents.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

INITIAL STORY: Medicaid expansion in Idaho will be tracked as a stand-alone item so that lawmakers can see how much it's costing and where the money is going.

Medicaid Division Administrator Matt Wimmer also told lawmakers on the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Monday that there will be decreases in the cost of some other state programs with the expansion.

Voters authorized Medicaid expansion with an initiative in November that passed with 61 percent approval after years of inaction by the Idaho Legislature.

The expansion will provide access to preventative health care services for about 91,000 low-income Idaho residents, according to a risk management company hired by the state.

The federal government would cover 90 percent of the estimated $400 million cost of Medicaid expansion, and Idaho lawmakers have to figure out how to pay the state's share.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



 
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