Next week’s Filibuster Session, our fortnightly series of chats with researchers about legislative politics in Idaho, will focus on health care bills under consideration this session. Our two discussants come from different but related fields.
TBR Blog is a space for commentary, opinion and reports on research in progress.
Stephanie Witt teaches in both the public policy and political science departments at Boise State and writes about local government in the West, ethics, human resource management and public administration. Her recent books include Cities, Sagebrush and Solitude Urbanization and Cultural Conflict in the Great Basin (co-edited with Dennis Judd) and People Skills for Public Managers, co-authored with Suzanne McCorkle.
Uwe Reischl is a professor of health science in the Department of Community and Environmental Health at Boise State University. He teaches courses in health care systems, public health ethics, disaster preparedness planning and community health assessment. Reischl has studied health care delivery systems in over 30 countries. Most recently, Reischl developed an alternative health insurance business model based on a public utility corporation entity providing universal access to healthcare for all residents in Idaho.
The 2016 Idaho Filibuster Sessions is an informal, fortnightly meetup to discuss the latest happenings at the Idaho Legislature, hosted by The Blue Review, the Boise State School of Public Service and the Boise State Political Science Department. We hold the Filibuster Sessions at Saint Lawrence Gridiron, 705 W. Bannock St., just south of the Capitol, starting at 5:30 pm, every other Wednesday through March.
Idaho Gov. C. L. “Butch” Otter has proposed a $32.4 million Primary Care Access Program (PCAP) aimed at providing basic primary care coverage for Idaho residents who fall into the Medicaid gap, i.e., those who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to see benefits from the state health insurance exchange — an estimated 78,000 people.
“It is intended instead as a point of departure for a longer-term effort to improve access to primary and preventive healthcare, especially in our under-served rural communities. It’s based on a patient-centered ‘medical home’ model focused on connecting patients with a healthcare provider who supervises their long-term primary and preventive care,” Otter wrote in a recent op-ed.
In addition, the Idaho Senate Health and Welfare Committee will hold a hearing on two related Medicaid expansion bills on Tuesday, also intended to close the coverage gap. The two bills are sponsored by Moscow Democrat Dan Schmidt, a physician. SB 1204 would expand Idaho’s Medicaid program, making the state eligible for federal funds to provide coverage for those who fall into the coverage gap. SB 1205 implements the Healthy Idaho Plan, a partial Medicaid expansion with a private insurance component as well, recommended multiple times by the governor’s health care working group. Read more about Schmidt’s proposal in the Spokesman-Review.
Below are a few sources of information on Idaho’s health reform process:
- Governor’s Medicaid Redesign Workgroup notes
- FAQ from Idaho Department of Health and Welfare on PCAP
- 2014 Healthy Idaho Plan brief from Idaho Center on Fiscal Policy
We hope to see you on Wednesday to discuss all of these proposals.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of Boise State University, the Center for Idaho History and Politics, or the School of Public Service.