Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley, has offered his own proposal for closing Idaho’s health coverage gap: Immediately designate the $13.5 million a year from Idaho’s Millennium Fund, which comes from a tobacco settlement, toward care for the gap population; and ask the private sector to draft a bill to expand Medicaid, with the private sector covering any state match and running the program in conjunction with the state Department of Health & Welfare. As part of that, the Legislature would pass a law saying no state general-fund money would go to Medicaid expansion, he said.
Wood, a physician, said people like to say that Medicaid is broken, but in Idaho, Medicaid costs, for the basic Medicaid coverage plan, have risen far less than overall health care costs and private insurance. “The fact is that the basic plan of Medicaid has already bent the cost curve,” Wood said.
He said the …
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