Idaho Legislature Priorities Miss The Mark Once Again
It's that time of year again. The end of March filled with college basketball predictions, the start of the Major League Baseball Season and the end of the annual Idaho Legislative session.Once again, our politicians are struggling with a contentious issue that threatens to impact the lives of every Idahoan as the clock winds down. Governor Little has said the session will not end until Medicaid expansion is funded. Some say, if the lawmakers do not fund the expansion, they'll be back for another 'special session' that we'll be funded by Gem State Taxpayers.
(Never mind the lack of effort by legislators on keeping their promise to repeal the state's grocery tax. Sources close to Bannock Street say the repeal will be used next year as a reelection tool for incumbent lawmakers.)
Last week, House sent the Senate two versions of Medicaid expansion. One that requires recipients to work and another without work requirements. Can the Senate figure out a compromise with a week left that will pass the House and get the governor's signature?
That seems highly unlikely at best. There are other issues of disagreement in funding expansion that have lawmakers at a standstill. The biggest issue outside of work requirements is whether there should be a cap on spending that the state is on the line for funding. If there is not limit to spending, Idaho could spend itself into bankruptcy by not having fiscal protections. Another threat is that feds could decide to decrease their contributions which would increase the burden on taxpayers.
I'd be remiss, if I didn't mention the conceal carry bill that lawmakers are doing their usual bait and switch maneuvers in trying not to give eighteen to twenty year olds the right to protect themselves.
We elect our politicians to represent us. The Idaho Legislators made a mistake in not working on Medicaid expansion in week one. Let's hope they learn from that mistake and not pass a flawed bill while running to get out of town.