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Medicaid expansion talks continue

Idaho Democratic leaders are objecting to what they call Republican efforts to divert funding responsibility for Medicaid expansion.

Lawmakers met Friday to discuss the assessment of costs related to expansion of health care coverage that were approved by voters last year.

After discussions that focused on county indigent and catastrophic funds, Republican Representative Megan Blanksma presented a proposed bill Democrats said would rob county budgets and transfer local taxes to subsidize state responsibilities. They say the bill would force county commissioners to either cut services or raise property taxes.

“The Majority is continuing to punish voters for passing Medicaid Expansion. First, they schemed to rob voters of their initiative rights by trying to pass Revenge on Voters Act,” said Democratic Representative Mat Erpelding of Boise. “Then, they added expensive, unnecessary restrictions on Medicaid Expansion. Now, Rep. Blanksma’s proposed bill will cheat the Idaho voter out of a more broad and fair tax base by forcing counties to use already high property taxes.”

Democratic State Senator Maryanne Jordan of Boise said she was gravely concerned with the proposal. “This is a state program and the state needs to wait for the data on how much was saved and where there are still gaps to fill,” Jordan said.

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