Comments sought on Idaho health care gap

A legislative task force is accepting public comment regarding ways to address the health care coverage gap in Idaho.

An estimated 78,000 Idahoans earn too much to qualify for Medicaid and too little to qualify for premium subsidies through the state health insurance exchange.

Lawmakers have struggled for years to address this issue. Some say the state should accept the expanded Medicaid provisions of the Affordable Care Act, which would extend public health care to people in the coverage gap. Most Republicans, however, have been unwilling to go that route because of concerns about increasing reliance on government, as well as concerns about the federal government’s ability to pay for the program.

An interim task force was created this year to review the issue and offer policy recommendations for lawmakers to review during the 2017 session. Prior to finalizing its recommendations, the task force is inviting the public to submit comments and information for its consideration.