Bill that could void Idaho Medicaid expansion to get hearing

A Senate panel voted Monday to hold a hearing on legislation to drop Medicaid expansion in Idaho if the federal government changes the percentage it pays for the program.

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

The legislation would end Medicaid expansion if the federal funding ratio of 90 percent drops and the Idaho Legislature doesn’t take action.

The legislation also contains a clause requiring a review of the program during the 2023 Legislative session.

Voters authorized Medicaid expansion in November after years of inaction by the 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.

Democrat Maryanne Jordan prevented an attempt by Souza to have her bill and a number of others introduced without discussion. She said she had concerns about possibly voiding Medicaid expansion if the federal funding level changed.

The state Supreme Court last week ruled that the voter-approved initiative was legal following a challenge from a conservative group that argued it was unconstitutional. (AP)