Idaho Supreme Court agrees to hear constitutional challenge to Medicaid expansion

The Idaho Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case challenging the legality of voter-approved Medicaid expansion.

The Idaho Freedom Foundation, the group leading the challenge, as justices last month to hear their case against Proposition 2, which passed with 60 percent approval in the November 6th general election. 

Prop 2 expands Medicaid eligibilty to the so-called Gap Population, some 62,000 Idahoans who previously earned too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to warrant subsidies through the state insurance exchange. The plaintiffs argue the proposition is unconstitutional, as it affords too much control to the federal government and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

Lawyers for the IFF says the high court plans to hear oral arguments January 29th. The libertarian think tank is a member of the State Policy Network, an organization of think tanks backed by the billionaire Koch brothers that advocate for free-market principles and deregulation. Groups connected to the Network have issued challenges to Medicaid expansion via the high courts in other states.

In 2017, the Goldwater Institute backed GOP lawmakers in their lawsuit to block the Arizona Legislature’s expansion of Medicaid. That case hinged on the constitutionality of a hospital assessment that helped pay to cover more individuals, but the challenge was ultimately rejected by the Arizona Supreme Court. (Idaho Statesman)

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