A House Republican this Thursday will introduce a measure seeking to expand Idaho's Medicaid program, a key provision in President Barack Obama's health insurance overhaul.
Rep. Tom Loertscher of Bone said Tuesday he'll introduce two bills: One dissolving Idaho's existing program to pay for indigent people's medical costs, and a second to expand Medicaid to include people up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line.
Loertscher said he was driven by pragmatism, contending Idaho will save state taxpayer money by expanding the health care program for the poor, elderly and disabled.
Under Obama's overhaul, the federal government will initially pay for 100 percent of newly eligible Medicaid beneficiaries.
But the U.S. Supreme Court forbid Washington, D.C. from forcing expansion onto states, leaving decisions up to legislators and governors.