Idaho lawmakers finalize health coverage recommendations

A small group of Idaho lawmakers say the Republican-dominated Legislature must find a way to provide health care to the state’s low-income uninsured population in 2017.

However, the legislative panel fell short from backing a specific proposal during its final meeting on Tuesday. Instead, lawmakers agreed on broad recommendations, such as urging a sunset provision if the Idaho Legislature does consider Medicaid expansion and promoting using general funds to help cover any new program costs.

Idaho Republican lawmakers have long refused to consider expanding Medicaid eligibility — as allowed under the Affordable Care Act — to the estimated 78,000 low-income Idahoans without health insurance.

That resistance has only intensified as President-elect Donald Trump and fellow congressional Republicans have promised to overhaul the 2010 law.