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Suit filed to overturn Medicaid expansion

UPDATE 8:30 P.M.

Idaho’s Proposition 2 is headed to court after being called unconstitutional.

Proposition 2 legalized Medicaid expansion with 60 percent of the vote in this year’s election.
Now, its constitutionality is being questioned. Idaho Falls attorney Bryan Smith filed a petition with the Idaho Supreme Court challenging Prop 2 on behalf of his client, Brent Regan, who is on the board of directors for the Idaho Freedom Foundation. The lawsuit takes issue with some of the language used in the proposition.

“It too broadly delegates power from the law making body, which in this case is the initiative process, to the executive branch, the department of health and welfare,” Smith said.

Smith also says Prop 2 does not have standards, which it needs in order to become constitutional.

“It adopts federal code without adopting it as it currently exists,” Smith said. “Which means that the federal government can change all the rules for Medicaid expansion and Idaho would have to be subject to those new rules. And that too would be an improper delegation of Idaho’s law making authority to another government.”

Now that the petition challenging the law has been filed, Smith and his client must serve the attorney general and secretary of state. If those offices file a response, it will go to the Idaho Supreme Court, which will make a decision. Smith says he knows what Prop 2 needs to be legal.

“In order to make this constitutional, there has to be a law put into effect that has defined, limited and guided standards instead of giving the executive branch broad sweeping discretionary authority,” he said.

We did reach out to the attorney general’s office. It said it does not comment on pending litigation.


An Idaho Falls attorney has filed suit with the Idaho Supreme Court seeking to overturn the voter-approved Proposition 2, expanding Medicaid eligibility in Idaho.

The suit, filed by Idaho Falls attorney Bryan Smith, alleges that the language of the proposition is unconstitutional. Specifically, it argues, “a lawmaking body’s failure to include sufficient standards in a delegation of authority renders a law passed by that lawmaking body void.”

The suit contends that giving the Department of Health and Welfare authority to enact the proposition the measure “delegates lawmaking authority to the federal government to make future laws governing the issue.”

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden’s office said it would have no comment on pending litigation.

Proposition Two was approved by voters by a 60 percent margin November 6.

Clarification: A news release announcing the lawsuit was distributed by the Idaho Freedom Foundation. Smith represents Brent Regan of Coeur d’Alene, who is a board member of the Idaho Freedom Foundation.

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