November 22, 2019

3/25/2019 – Despite public and professional opposition, House Bill 277 advances

HB277 passed the House Thursday 45-25 after many hours of contentious debate and overwhelming public opposition in committee. Here’s my floor debate if you’re interested – it lays out the main arguments against the bill.

HB277 (which is opposed by the Idaho Hospital Ass’n, the Idaho Medical Ass’n, the Idaho Education Ass’n, and virtually every medical organization in the state) would add work requirements and other significant restrictions to Proposition 2. It would require 22 new enforcement personnel, with the net effect that it is projected to cost at least $3-4 million more than “clean” Medicaid expansion as passed by the voters, and would re-create an uninsured gap of ~22,000 people.

The bill was rushed through on such an accelerated basis that we still do not have a full fiscal analysis addressing what it will cost the state and counties. There is another “Medicaid sideboards” bill that it on its way to the Senate floor that is much less restrictive – stay tuned to see which version emerges.