Idaho lawmakers spike governor’s health care plan

Otter rips state education board, lawmaker over contract

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s legislative proposal to provide health care to some of the state’s poorest residents is dead.

Idaho’s House on Tuesday agreed to send Otter’s bill back to committee rather than ask representatives to vote on the merits of the bill despite outcries from a handful of lawmakers who pleaded the body should publicly state how they stand on the proposal.

Doing so effectively signals that lawmakers once again have no appetite to address the state’s so-called Medicaid gap population before the end of the legislative session.

About 78,000 working Idahoans are believed to be in the gap population that earns too much to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to qualify for insurance subsidies.

Otter’s bill would have provided coverage to roughly half of the health coverage gap population.