Huckleberries Online

Idaho faces health-care dilemma

BOISE – 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.

Next year, the state’s portion of the bill is expected to jump 10.6 percent to $38.5 million, state lawmakers learned Thursday; the rest of the cost for the program is directly picked up by county property taxpayers.

“This is the nature of our program,” Roger Christensen, a Bonneville County commissioner and chairman of the state Catastrophic Care Program board, told legislative budget writers. “It doesn’t allow for preventive care, so we deal with the results after it becomes catastrophic, which is much more expensive, and it’s paid for dollar for dollar.” No federal matching funds are available. Betsy Russell, SR

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Cindy Hval
Cindy Hval is a freelance columnist for the Voices neighborhood sections. Her Front Porch column appears twice a month in the Thursday Voice.









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