By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports
The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee passed a third Medicaid budget on Thursday afternoon, after co-chair Rep. Wendy Horman, R-Idaho Falls, said the budget passed on Wednesday didn’t have the legislative support to make it to the governor’s desk.
Thursday’s budget is largely the same as the budget passed Wednesday, with two major changes: The removal of $2.2 million for cost containment implementation, and the addition of $500,000 from the Millennium Income Fund to establish a task force to make recommendations for a Medicaid managed care program. House Concurrent Resolution 9, which is currently sitting in the Senate, would establish that task force.
The $4.5 billion proposed budget includes $3 billion in federal funds, $856 million in state general funds, and $675 in dedicated funds.
The first Medicaid budget failed on the House floor on Monday.
Rep. Rod Furniss, R-Rigby, and Rep. Colin Nash, D-Boise, both submitted alternate budgets that would have kept the funds for cost containment. During Wednesday’s hearing, both had argued in favor of the funds, pointing out private sector insurance companies have multiple claim adjusters who successfully keep costs down.
“We may see millions of dollars reduced if it works properly,” Furniss said Thursday.
Nash’s budget additionally reduced the Medicaid budget by just $1 million to account for disenrollment. The approved budget includes a $152 million reduction to account for Idahoans who are no longer eligible for Medicaid and will be removed from the Medicaid rolls during the redetermination process over the next few months.
Furniss’s budget failed on an 8-12 vote, while Nash’s failed 3-12.
The successful budget, sponsored by Rep. Britt Raybould, R-Rexburg, and Sen. Julie Van Orden, R-Pingree, passed 13-7. It must pass both the House and Senate before reaching the governor’s desk.