Idaho Governor Unveils New Plan to Address Coverage Gap
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter has announced a new $30 million program that would provide coverage for basic medical care to nearly 78,000 Idahoans that neither qualify for health insurance subsidies or Medicaid.
Otter told reporters at Associated Press Legislative Preview Thursday that he will ask Idaho lawmakers to approve the new plan during this year's legislative session, which begins next week. The plan is a state-funded alternative to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act — an option the Republican-dominated Idaho Statehouse has rejected repeatedly. Legislative leaders voiced support for the plan immediately following the Republican governor's announcement, but offered no promises it would pass.
According to the proposal, qualifying participants would be adults who currently have no access to affordable coverage and who fall below the federal poverty level. They would be eligible to receive preventive primary medical care services. The program would not cover hospital stays, emergency room visits or specialty care.