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Eye On Boise

State, county catastrophic medical costs have doubled since 2002

Here’s a link to my full story at on how the costs to the state and counties for Idaho’s unique catastrophic medical care program more than doubled from 2002 to 2013, and they’re expected to continue to mount if the program stays as-is. Alternatives include expanding Idaho’s Medicaid program, which now is limited to children, very poor parents, and the disabled, to provide coverage for patients who otherwise would turn to the CAT program. Federal funds would cover most of the cost, and the existing program could be repealed.

Other options include sending some of the patients to the new health insurance exchange, through which roughly 40 percent likely would qualify for subsidized insurance; or cutting back the program to cover only emergencies. Lawmakers are talking about all of those now, after the news from this morning’s CAT fund budget hearing.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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