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Eye On Boise

Wed., Feb. 5, 2014, 5:08 p.m.

Party-line vote blocks introduction of Rep. Rusche’s Medicaid expansion bill

The House Health & Welfare Committee voted along party lines today against printing and introducing legislation from Rep. John Rusche, D-Lewiston, to expand Medicaid in Idaho, something Rusche called “a missed opportunity.” All Democrats on the committee backed introducing the bill; all Republicans opposed the move. “It’s sad they didn’t want to hear it,” Rusche said.

He told the committee, “The list of supporters is very long. They recognize the financial benefit and the health benefit of extending health insurance coverage to working Idahoans too poor for the health exchange financial support.” Rusche, a physician, called the move, which would come largely at federal expense, “fiscally responsible and clinically appropriate.”

Rusche said afterward, “They don’t want it to get in the way of the Republican primary and have people have reason to be accused of supporting Obamacare. That’s what I expected to have happen.”

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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