BOISE – More than 100,000 uninsured Idahoans would qualify for health coverage and state and local taxpayers would save $44 million in 2016 under a plan for accepting expanded federal Medicaid funds approved by a working group appointed by Idaho Gov. Butch Otter on Thursday.
The group’s proposal, approved on a 10-3 vote, is just a recommendation to Otter, who will decide what to propose to state lawmakers in January. Three GOP lawmakers who served on the work group cast the dissenting votes.
The plan calls for using the federal money for contracted health plans focusing on primary care and prevention.
States had the option of accepting millions in federal funds to cover those who make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to qualify for health insurance subsidies through insurance exchanges. Idaho has repeatedly delayed its decision, while Washington accepted the money and expanded coverage.
Betsy Z. Russell
Aerosmith still on Gorge bill
Concert promoter Live Nation announced Thursday that Aerosmith remains scheduled to play Saturday at the Gorge Ampitheatre as scheduled.
Doubts about the concert swirled online Wednesday and Thursday after the band’s drummer, Joey Kramer, was hospitalized this week with heart problems and a concert had to be canceled.
Other music acts scheduled with Aerosmith include Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators.
Post Falls home total loss from fire
Fire destroyed a house in Post Falls on Thursday night.
No one was in the home in the 2400 block of North Bunchgrass.
Post Falls officials said the home, with flames erupting from the roof, was a complete loss.
KHQ television reported that a family of six – including an infant – lived in the home.
Man in shootout pleads not guilty
An Arizona man engaged in a June gunfight with police from several Idaho agencies along Interstate 90 pleaded not guilty in court Thursday.
Marcus A. Rael, 24, is being held in the Kootenai County Jail on $2 million bond.
He is accused of leading officers on a high-speed chase before pulling off the interstate in Post Falls and shooting at officers. Police said he was armed with an FN 5.7 carbine rifle with a 50-round magazine and an AK-47 with a high capacity drum magazine.
Three Post Falls police officers, six Coeur d’Alene police officers, two Kootenai County sheriff’s deputies and one Idaho State Police trooper shot at Rael, wounding him. No officers were injured.