My colleagues and I have been advocating for the implementation of the Medicaid expansion the way voters intended. Although we don't want any restrictions or sideboards, other Representatives have a different idea in mind. In the Health and Welfare Committee, several pieces of legislation have been presented that would create work requirements for citizens applying for coverage under the expansion.
This week, Representative Vander Woude presented his most recent version of the bill (House Bill 277) which would require those seeking coverage to work a minimum of 20 hours each week. The committee heard testimonies from Idahoans who don't believe these requirements are the best way to implement the expansion. These work requirements would be almost impossible to meet for those that need Medicaid coverage most. It would be hard to accurately report, causing citizens to lose coverage and creating a second gap. Sadly, after over four hours of testimonies, the committee voted to send the legislation to the House floor where it passed with 45 in favor and 25 opposed. The legislation will now be sent to the Senate.