Supreme Court to hear arguments over Medicaid expansion

The Idaho Supreme Court will take up the legal battle over Medicaid expansion in the coming weeks.

Oral arguments are scheduled for Jan. 29 — three weeks into a legislative session that could be defined by the Medicaid expansion issue.

On Nov. 6, 61 percent of Idaho voters approved Medicaid expansion, Proposition Two on the ballot. The next day, the Idaho Freedom Foundation pledged to file a lawsuit, and the conservative group followed up with a Nov. 20 filing.

The foundation says the expansion gives unchecked power to the state Department of Health and Welfare. The foundation also says adding some 62,000 Idahoans to Medicaid would jeopardize funding for K-12 — an argument echoed by some lawmakers.

The Idaho School Boards Association and the Idaho Education Association supported Proposition Two. They say the expansion, funded largely by the federal government, would ease pressure on local property taxes, which in turn could help rural districts pass school bond issues and levies.

More on the Supreme Court decision from Betsy Russell of the Idaho Press.

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