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Idaho lawmakers consider options on health care coverage

Anti-Medicaid expansion advocates are warning Idaho lawmakers that expanding the federal health care program designed to cover the poor will end up costing the state millions and do little to drive down medical fees.

Instead, those advocates on Wednesday urged the small legislative group tasked with reviewing Idaho’s so-called Medicaid gap to consider supporting more charity care and finding jobs for the unemployed.

Supporters of Medicaid expansion counter that Idaho should take advantage of the federal government’s offer to cover nearly the entire costs of expansion. Doing so would provide care to the estimated 78,000 Idahoans who don’t qualify for Medicaid or make too much to for a subsidy.

The 10-member taskforce has remained split on the best solution to submit to the Idaho Legislature in 2017.

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