by Senator Brian Lenney

Idaho’s got a beast on its hands, and it’s growing out of control. 

This beast is Medicaid, and it’s feasting on our budget, ready to gobble up everything in its path. The alarming part? The Idaho Main Street Caucus not only ignored the problem but also fed this monster by voting for HOUSE BILL 369.

While the Governor may be bragging about the Idaho economy… the situation is dire.

Alex Adams, the governor’s right-hand man, even admitted that our students are paying the price for this out-of-control spending.

The evidence is clear, and here are the slides to prove it:

Other states like Nebraska and Utah, which have managed care Medicaid, are also seeing their costs go through the roof. The real problem here isn’t how we manage it; it’s how much we’re spending.

The Cato Institute made this point explicitly in a submitted comment to the 2023 Medicaid Managed Care Task Force:

“Managed care providers often control costs by imposing copayments and deductibles on plan members. These forms of patient responsibility make members think twice before seeing a provider or visiting a hospital emergency room. But, per federal law, copayments and deductibles are generally not permitted under Medicaid.”

And while The Idaho Freedom Caucus tried to stop this train wreck, all but ONE member of the Main Street Caucus voted to push it through.

Now, what can we do to tame this Medicaid beast before it devours Idaho completely?

Here are some simple ways to do it:

  1. Kick Out the Folks Who Don’t Belong: If they’re not eligible for Medicaid, they shouldn’t be on it. Let’s clean up the list.
  2. Check What We’re Paying For: We need a full look at what healthcare providers are charging. No more shady billing.
  3. Control What Gets Prescribed: Let’s decide for ourselves what drugs are covered, not let someone else tell us what we have to pay for.

We’re facing a crisis, and we can’t just sit back and watch the Medicaid beast continue to grow. 

Town halls and taskforces are window-dressing.

What we need to do is slay the beast.

It’s time to stand up, call out those who led us into this mess, and bring some common-sense solutions to the table.

We need to act now, or this beast will eat all of Idaho.