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Monday, December 9, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Idaho health group decries president’s actions, says affordability will suffer, deficit rise

Close the Gap Idaho, a broad coalition of health care stakeholders in Idaho, issued a statement today decrying President Trump’s announcement last night that he’ll cut off funding for cost-sharing reimbursements under the Affordable Care Act, and his Thursday executive order on health care.

“While we can’t be certain how the President’s actions will be implemented, further instability could well upend the individual and small group insurance markets, leading to higher costs for lower quality coverage for a majority of Idahoans,” said Brian Whitlock, CEO of the Idaho Hospital Association. “Idahoans need more, not less certainty about the availability and affordability of their health coverage. We are talking about policy choices that impact one-sixth of the country’s economy. We need our healthcare system to be a fine-tuned machine, and these recent actions are throwing a wrench in the system.”

Close the Gap Idaho is a coalition of health care stakeholders in Idaho, including representatives of providers, consumers, advocates, clergy, charities and more. The group began by advocating to close Idaho’s health coverage gap, which leaves roughly 78,000 without affordable care options because the state hasn’t expanded its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act; it has continued to study and advocate for ways to improve health care in Idaho.

The group warned that the president’s announced changes will threaten the affordability of health coverage in Idaho while also adding to the federal budget deficit. You can read their full statement here.

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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