Idaho budget writers pass Medicaid budget

Posted at 11:47 AM, Feb 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-26 13:47:11-05

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Legislative budget writers have unanimously approved slightly increasing funding for Idaho's Medicaid Program that serves some 190,000 poor children.

The Joint Finance Appropriations Committee agreed on Friday to allocate $519.6 million in state general funds as part of the program's $2.23 billion total budget. The rest of the program is primarily funded by federal dollars.

For the first time in a decade, the budget includes more money -- about a $1.5 million boost -- for disabled and elderly people's allowance to spend on rent, food and other personal expenses.

Overall, the program received a 6.2 percent increase in funding.

The budget now must pass through both chambers before it can head over to the governor's desk for final approval, but lawmakers rarely stray from the budget committee's decisions.