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Wednesday, November 20, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Legislature’s gap coverage panel opens meeting; public comments call for closing the gap

The Idaho Legislature's interim committee on
The Idaho Legislature's interim committee on "Healthcare Alternatives for Citizens Below 100 Percent of Poverty Level" opens its meeting at the state Capitol on Monday morning. People below 100 percent of the federal poverty level don't qualify for subsidized coverage through the state insurance exchange. (Betsy Z. Russell)

The Legislature’s interim committee on Idaho’s health care coverage gap has convened its meeting at the state Capitol this morning; you can listen live here. First up, staffer Elizabeth Bowen shared the 82 public comments received since the group’s last meeting. None opposed covering the people in the gap. Thirty-four called for either traditional Medicaid expansion or a waiver program. Twenty wanted a comprehensive coverage package of some kind for the Idahoans currently in the gap, who make too little to qualify for subsidized health insurance through the state insurance exchange, but also don’t qualify for Idaho’s very limited Medicaid program.

Twenty-two didn’t advocate specific policies, but called for covering people in the gap. One wanted Idaho to make health care a public utility and cover everyone. Five didn’t advocate any policy, but shared their experiences with lack of coverage in Idaho.

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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