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Idaho’s catastrophic health care costs climb

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 is paid by each county’s property taxpayers.

“This is the nature of our program,” Roger Christensen, a Bonneville County commissioner and chairman of the state Catastrophic Health Care Cost 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. More here. Betsy Russell, SR

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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