By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports
One reason Idaho is currently considering Medicaid expansion is a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision that, in part, allowed individual states to decide whether to expand their programs.
The decision was the result of a 2010 lawsuit from thirteen state attorneys general, including Idaho’s Lawrence Wasden, over the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. The Supreme Court ultimately upheld significant parts of the ACA.
At the time, Wasden’s arguments focused not on the merits of the ACA, but on whether the law violated the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution. Since then, Wasden has had little to say about Medicaid expansion, other than reviewing and certifying the proposed statutory language last November.
So as one of the attorneys general who initially sued, where does Wasden personally stand on Proposition 2?
“As Attorney General, I litigate based on the law and the State of Idaho’s best interests,” Wasden said in a statement to Idaho Reports. “I vote as a citizen and, like many Idahoans, prefer to keep my ballot choices private.”
Wasden joins Republican gubernatorial candidate Brad Little in declining to say how he views Medicaid expansion. Republican lieutenant governor candidate Janice McGeachin opposes Proposition 2.
Since 2012, five of the 13 states that initially sued over the ACA have expanded Medicaid, and another three — including Idaho — are considering expansion.