'Medicaid gap' proposal headed to tax committee

Posted at 10:50 AM, Jan 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-20 12:50:24-05

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's proposal to provide basic medical coverage to people who fall in the so-called "Medicaid gap" has been split into two separate bills. That means the policy will have to pass through two separate committees if it is to succeed.

The bill would create a new program to provide basic medical care to nearly 78,000 Idahoans who make too much to qualify for Medicaid but also don't qualify for health insurance subsidies.

Republican Rep. Gary Collins of Nampa says the funding mechanism of the proposal -- arguably the most critical part of the legislation -- must clear the House panel in in charge of vetting tax changes.

Meanwhile, members on the House Health and Welfare Committee will be asked to sign off on the structure of the program.

Collins, the chairman of the Revenue and Taxation panel, says it's too early to speculate how splitting the bill will influence the outcome of the proposal.