House committee votes to introduce Idaho Health Care Plan bill

BOISE, Idaho - A bill to launch Gov. "Butch" Otter's Idaho Health Care Plan was introduced inside the House Health & Welfare Committee Monday morning.

The plan would allow about 35,000 Idahoans who fall in a medical coverage gap to qualify for subsidized health insurance through the state insurance exchange.

The dual waiver plan would also allow between 2,500 and 3,500 people with specific serious and chronic health conditions transfer into Medicaid. The goal of that move is to lower costs on the exchange. 

This Idaho Health Care Plan is separate from the executive order Otter and Lt. Gov. Brad Little signed in early January. 

Three members of the Heath & Welfare Committee voted to not introduce the bill. 

Rep. Christy Perry, R-Nampa, moved to introduce the bill in committee. 

"In order to get that bill actually into the hands of the public and let them weigh in on it, whether pro or con, it has to be introduced in that committee," Perry said. "For legislators to come in and not vote to introduce a bill, that's kind of unilaterally saying that we don't even think you need to take a look at it. So, I'm glad the outcome turned out as it is, so it will now go into the hands of the public and stakeholders." 

An informational hearing will be held for legislators to learn more about the plan in the coming weeks. Following that informational session, the House Health & Welfare Committee will vote on the bill. 

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