Idaho - Oppose H. 464 | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

Idaho - Oppose H. 464

State Action

February 9, 2018

Idaho House of Representatives
700 West Jefferson Street
Boise, ID  83720-0038

Dear Representative,

You will soon consider H. 464, which would provide the authority for director of the Idaho Department of Insurance to apply to the secretary of the Department of Health and Humans Services for a State Innovation 1332 waiver under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare, and a Medicaid 1115 waiver.

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) is particularly concerned with the 1115 waiver, which would expand Medicaid by creating a new “Complex Medical Needs Program.”  According to the January 22, 2018, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare draft proposal, the goal of the 1115 waiver “is to allow Idahoans with Complex Medical Needs (CMN), who have household incomes up to 400% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), to access comprehensive coverage under the Medicaid program.”  While this is a supposed attempt to “stabilize” the ACA exchange, it is Medicaid expansion by any other measure.  On behalf of the 11,606 CCAGW members and supporters in the state of Idaho, I ask that you oppose H. 464.

Encouraging more Idahoans to participate in Medicaid promotes the progressive agenda to push all Americans into government-run healthcare.  Furthermore, the state is unwisely sending some of its most vulnerable citizens into a program that is known for its limited access to physicians, especially specialists.  In a November 11, 2017, speech before the National Association of Medicaid Directors, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Administrator Seema Verma noted that “despite our growth in spending, and in regulations, more than 1/3 of doctors won’t even see Medicaid patients.”  Not getting access to the care these types of patients require will drive up costs, not lower them.

In April 2017, the governor signed into law SB 1150, which changed existing law, allowing individuals with high risk medical conditions and their dependents, who are enrolled in individual health benefit plans, to be reinsured through the Idaho Individual High Risk Reinsurance pool.  The purpose of the legislation was to stabilize the individual insurance market, and it became effective on July 1, 2017.  According to the bill’s fiscal impact note, there is no direct fiscal impact to the General Fund or any other state fund or expenditure.  CCAGW believes this policy should be allowed to fully take effect or be modified before helping to bail out the insurers by expanding Medicaid.

In a September 13, 2017 Business Insider article, Idaho Department of Insurance Director Dean Cameron said, “We need to remove federal government interference in the marketplace.  The rules, restrictions and requirements of Obamacare are driving the costs — the desire that we have one-size-fits-all policies.”  Pushing people with complex medical needs into Medicaid is not the way to accomplish this worthy goal.  If this waiver is adopted, it will open the floodgate to expand Medicaid even further.

Instead, we urge you to join CCAGW and tens of millions of Americans to keep pressure on our elected representatives in Washington, D.C. to repeal Obamacare.

Sincerely,

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