Eye On Boise

Testimony: 'Medicaid cuts don't necessarily lead to savings'

Members of the Legislature's joint budget committee listen to more than two hours of testimony on Friday morning, including emotional appeals. (Betsy Russell)
Members of the Legislature's joint budget committee listen to more than two hours of testimony on Friday morning, including emotional appeals. (Betsy Russell)

Jim Baugh of Disability Rights Idaho told JFAC, "Medicaid cuts don't necessarily lead to savings. Sometimes they just lead to lawsuits, and sometimes the lawsuits are more expensive than the savings." He noted two lawsuits the state already has lost in the past year over cuts, that are costing the state millions.

Emily Walton told the joint committee, "We're concerned about the issue of equity in higher education funding. ... Now I'm just a girl from Declo, but when I look at the numbers ... I don't see how we can describe this current situation as fair. ... The students at Boise State want to graduate just like at any university in Idaho, but sometimes they can't get the classes that they need."

Kelly Hardy of Kuna described the situation of a young man with autism for whom she cares; he was institutionalized for years, costing the state millions, but wants to continue now to live on his own. "Say no to additional cuts in Medicaid services," she urged the lawmakers, asking them to restore coverage for non-emergency dental services and increase funding for crisis services.

Joe Raiden of Moscow told JFAC his son suffered an abscess, went to the emergency room and was just given pain medicine and sent home. "Preventive dental care is important to find out problems before they get out of hand," he said.

Noll Garcia of Boise, speaking from his power wheelchair, said, "I am very concerned that my budget will be cut resulting in less staff to keep me safe in my apartment and in my community, to do the things that are meaningful in my life. To help you understand, I have cerebral palsy, and it is not going away. I am happy with who I am and am not looking for a cure. All that being said, I still need support, and will always need support. ...My closest relative lives 120 miles away."




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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