Idaho Health and Welfare seeks $3.2 billion budget

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is asking lawmakers for a 5.5 percent increase in its budget, while Governor Brad Little is recommending a larger increase of 11.2 percent due mainly to Medicaid expansion.

Agency Director Dave Jeppesen presented his agency’s proposed $3.2 billion budget Monday to the Legislature’s budget-setting Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee.

$2 billion of the the department’s request comes from the federal government, which sends money to Idaho based in part on how much the state chooses to spend on various programs. The federal government would cover 90 percent of the estimated $400 million cost of Medicaid expansion.

Idaho voters approved Medicaid expansion in November, but lawmakers have to figure out how to pay the state’s share.

Lawmakers will decide on the budget request in the coming weeks. (AP)

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