House Passes Bill to Restore $1.5 Million in 2011 Medicaid Cuts

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In an acknowledgement that cuts made by the 2011 Idaho Legislature to the state's Medicaid budget were too severe, lawmakers in the House voted unanimously this morning to restore $1.5 million to last year's Medicaid budget.

A total of $35 million in Medicaid cuts were approved in 2011.

"We didn't fully understand the unintended consequences," said Idaho Falls Republican Rep. Janice McGeachin, chair of the House Health and Welfare Committee.

McGeachin's bill would restore some funding for preventive dental care and would eliminate a requirement that those with both a mental illness and developmental disability to choose which condition should get primary treatment.

"When we went home last year, we started hearing concerns from our communities," said McGeachin. "Our improved economy allows us to reinstate some of these cuts."

The proposed measure will be considered Friday morning, when the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee is scheduled to set a Medicaid budget.

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