Inside the Statehouse: Medicaid rancor may be precursor to insurance exchange vote
BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- The Idaho House approved federally-required changes to the state's Medicaid program after a prolonged debate that could be a precursor to upcoming rancor over whether Idaho should adopt a state-based insurance exchange.
Tuesday's 48-21 vote allows Idaho to spend $7.2 million in mostly-federal money on its Medicaid readiness project, to implement changes required under President Obama's 2010 health insurance overhaul.
Anytime anything related to "Obamacare" is up for a vote in Idaho, foes of the plan are ready for a fight.
And Tuesday was no different.
Republican Rep. Pete Nielsen of Mountain Home urged opposing the measure, calling this one of those times when Idaho needed to start acting like a sovereign state.
Supporters, however, pointed out Idaho risked losing millions in Medicaid funding if it didn't agree to the changes.