Idaho Gov. Brad Little Signs Medicaid Expansion Bill With Work Requirements
BY JAMES DAWSON / BSPR
Idaho will ask the federal government for permission to implement mandatory work requirements for those covered under the state’s Medicaid plan.
Gov. Brad Little (R) signed the bill despite concerns about the constitutionality of such requirements that were repeatedly brought up during public testimony and debates.
“We must encourage self-sufficiency among those receiving public assistance,” Little wrote in a letter approving the bill.
He did say the legislature needed to revisit “key tenants [sic]” of the bill over the next several months and into the next legislative session that helps those receiving assistance spring out of poverty.
“Unfortunately, this bill fails to utilize our existing work and training program, which focuses on outcomes to help individuals find employment, complete training programs, and enroll in education programs to increase employment and enhance wages,” Little wrote.
Last month, U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg struck down similar work programs in Arkansas and Kentucky.
“The Court cannot concur that the Medicaid Act leaves the [Health and Human Services] Secretary so unconstrained, nor that the states are so armed to refashion the program Congress designed in any way they choose,” Boasberg wrote.
“The negotiations with the federal government will be challenging, but I have confidence in my directors of the Department of Health and Welfare and the Department of Insurance and their ability to work with our federal partners and pursue the waiver required to implement this approach,” Little wrote.
Idaho will now seek a waiver that would force anyone receiving health coverage under Medicaid work, study or volunteer for at least 20 hours a week on average per month.
There are several exemptions under the proposal, including parents of children under 18, those receiving disability insurance and those who are caretakers.
Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.
Copyright 2019 Boise State Public Radio
Since February 2017, 16 Washington nursing homes — from Seattle to Ritzville — have closed, announced they will close, or converted to assisted living. Each time a nursing home closes, it forces vulnerable residents to endure disruptive — and potentially dangerous — moves. Continue Reading Families Scramble, Industry Sounds Alarms As Washington Nursing Home Closures Rise
The administration’s proposed adjustment to the wage index, a key factor used to set hospitals’ Medicare payments, could help rural facilities while hurting those in cities. Continue Reading Richer Medicare Payments For Rural Hospitals Could Come At Urban Centers’ Expense
In a rebuke to the Idaho legislature, Gov. Brad Little has “reluctantly” vetoed a bill that some say would’ve made it nearly impossible to get an initiative on the ballot. Little also plans to veto a second, similar bill that would’ve loosened some of the original proposal’s restrictions. Continue Reading Idaho Gov. Brad Little Vetoes Bill That Would Have Made Ballot Initiatives Tougher