Medicaid bill would void expansion if feds change funding structure

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports

The next round in the fight surrounding Medicaid expansion has begun.

On Monday, Sen. Mary Souza introduced legislation that would void expansion if the federal government changes its 90/10 cost-sharing formula and establish a voluntary workforce training requirement program. Read the bill here.

The proposal would also direct the department to provide subsidies for insurance plans through the insurance exchange for those in the gap who are above 100 percent of the federal poverty line instead of enrolling them in Medicaid. That part of the proposal would require a waiver from the federal government.

Another section instructs the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to seek waivers to use Medicaid funds for substance abuse and mental health care. The idea behind this, Souza said, was to help lessen the impact for counties who may receive less financial help for these services through catastrophic health care and indigent funds.

I believe these are not restrictions on Medicaid expansion,” Souza said. “These are protections and enhancements.”

Ultimately, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee was split 5-4 on whether to allow a hearing on the proposal, with Senators Fred Martin, Lee Heider, David Nelson, and Maryanne Jordan voting no.

My preference has always been simply to fund it,” Martin said.



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