The Idaho health care bill is on life support.

By Seth Ogilvie

On Tuesday, the Idaho House of Representatives placed house bill 464, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s dual-waiver proposal, into a legislatively induced coma for two weeks.

House leaders feared if the vote were held on Tuesday, the bill would die on the floor.

Monday’s vote on Medicaid dental coverage appeared to trigger Tuesday’s emergency legislative procedure. That bill, which would restore non-emergency dental services to Medicaid, passed, but it was a violation of the so-called Bedke Rule, meaning more House Republicans voted against the bill than supported it.

That vote painted an ominous path for the dual waiver plan.

“There has got to be some support built for that issue at this point,” House Speaker Scott Bedke told Idaho Reports on Tuesday. “I think people want to take a look at it.”

Rep. Fred Wood, the floor sponsor of the bill and only doctor currently serving in the Idaho Legislature, believes the dual waiver plan still has a chance at life. “I think it is reasonably promising,” said Wood.

It will take a lot of work to pass the bill and even more to hurdle the Bedke rule. But Bedke is staying out of the fight. “I am not personally working to build support,” said Bedke, “but I know some might be.”

“Right now it’s close,” said Wood, “and it will be close.”


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