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House members pledge support of Mediciad waivers

House members pledge support of Mediciad waivers
Posted at 10:04 AM, Mar 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-24 12:04:45-04

After supporting a plan that delays action on creating healthcare coverage for the "gap" population, several members of the House Health and Welfare Committee said they will not work on future bills until a waiver program is initiated.

The reversal was started by Reps. Perry and Packer. Both read from prepared letters expressing disappointment in the legislation they passed Wednesday. That was two bills, one creating an interim committee to study options to take and another to give $5 million to community health centers which service the poor.

"I was only given those bills to vote on," said Perry, R-Nampa. "I wanted to do something rather than nothing."

It was a theme repeated by four more Republican members of the committee. The bills passed yesterday are not the best policy, but it's something. However for those lawmakers, future work must include a waiver for managed care, which is what many lawmakers have said is the ultimate solution.

The Republicans making the pledge said they would not vote on any bill in the 2017 session until a program using federal waivers was created. However, they may have a chance to weigh in on the matter today.

Earlier, the Senate Health and Welfare committee killed the proposal for an interim committee and sent the $5 million bill to the amending order. The Senate will be able to make any changes to the bill they want, which could include additional funding, or completely overhaul the legislation and propose a waiver program.

After making the amendments, the bill will go back to the House for members there to vote whether or not to accept those changes.