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

Bedke plans working group on gap coverage plan during interim

House Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, answers questions from reporters after the House adjourned on Friday (Betsy Z. Russell)
House Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, answers questions from reporters after the House adjourned on Friday (Betsy Z. Russell)

After the House’s straight party-line vote today to reject Senate amendments to the health care – and therefore end this year’s legislative session without doing anything to address the 78,000 Idahoans who fall into a health care coverage gap – House Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, announced that he’ll appoint a bipartisan working group to start meeting in May to develop “a solution for the gap population.”

“You’ll see me pursuing that,” Bedke said. “You’ll see me reaching out to the Senate to do that.” Unlike the House-passed proposal for an interim study committee about gap coverage that the Senate rejected, which made various declarations about what the Legislature does and doesn’t support and forbade submitting any application for a waiver to federal officials, Bedke said, “We’ll be unfettered.”

“There is a clear understanding that the gap population, the medical services they receive are inadequate, it’s an inefficient use of taxpayer dollars and there’s bad outcomes,” Bedke said. “The working group will be populated by people who feel strongly about this issue.”



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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