The hearing is expected to draw quite a crowd. Medicaid expansion has been blocked in the legislature by Republicans over objections to further implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.
With expansion stalled, Gov. Butch Otter’s administration this year proposed a state-funded plan to subsidize basic preventive care for up to 78,000 low-income Idahoans who don’t qualify for Medicaid currently, or for insurance subsidies available on the state health insurance exchange. The state program is not insurance and would not cover emergency or chronic care or prescriptions.
Tuesday will be the first time a Medicaid expansion bill has actually been heard by lawmakers in committee. Despite the expected large draw, there are no plans currently to move the hearing to a larger room in the Capitol.
The chart at top shows the state-by-state status of Medicaid expansion as of January, as tracked by the Kaiser Family Foundation.