Federal judge rules Obamacare unconstitutional-- what now for Idaho?

Idaho voted to expand Medicaid on November 6.
Posted at 9:39 PM, Dec 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-17 16:26:13-05

BOISE, IDAHO — "We were ecstatic."

November 6 was an exciting night for Reclaim Idaho, leaders of the statewide grassroots movement to give healthcare to the 62,000 Idahoans who fall in the so-called healthcare gap.

"The acting governor signed it into law-- and now the state needs to present a plan," said Sam Sandmire, Ada County Co-leader, Reclaim Idaho.

A federal judge issued a ruling Friday that threatens to strip that coverage from tens of millions of patients-- in Idaho and 31 other states.

Still, it remains the law of the land and experts say the ruling will more than likely be appealed.

"It's gonna go through the appeals courts, and it's gonna go to the supreme court, and the U.S. Supreme Court is gonna make some kind of ruling on it, in some number-- some amount of time," said Wayne Hoffman, President, Idaho Freedom Foundation.

But that does not mean expansion remains entirely un-threatened-- on a national or local level. Idaho Freedom Foundation has a complaint pending in the Idaho Supreme Court, arguing Prop 2 is unconstitutional, because, "congress is making the decision about what eligibility looks like for the medicaid program in Idaho. And that's considered an unconstitutional delegation of the state's legislative authority."

"We have a $21 trillion national debt, and it's a growing national debt. So how much longer do you think this is gonna continue, where the federal government throws money into programs?"

Sandmire says her greatest concern, is making sure Prop 2 is enacted in Idaho in a timely manner.

"What would be a big deal is if anyone-- including our state legislature-- chose to use this as an excuse to delay enactment and funding of Medicaid Expansion," said Sandmire.

But, she says she doesn't think they will do that.

"They know that lives are at stake. They've been seeking a solution for 6 or 7 years, and, ya know, finally the people have voted."