Medicaid Expansion OFFICIALLY* on the ballot in Idaho and Utah!

2019 OPEN ENROLLMENT ENDS (most states)

Time: D H M S

I know this is like the third "It's on the ballot!" post I've written regarding Medicaid expansion in Idaho, but this time it appears to be for real...almost:

BOISE — A Medicaid expansion proposal has passed the signature threshold, officials confirmed on Thursday, but said further review is needed before it gets on the November ballot.

Ada County Chief Deputy Clerk Phil McGrane says county clerks across the state have verified roughly 58,000 signatures that organizers submitted earlier this month.

The effort needed at least 56,192 signatures to qualify. However, those signatures must also come from 6 percent of the registered voters in at least 18 of Idaho’s 35 legislative districts.

McGrane says it’ll be up to the state to determine if the signatures meet the legislative district requirements.

Reclaim Idaho, the group that organized the Medicaid expansion effort, did not immediately return a request for comment.

If successful, Idaho would join 32 other states and the District of Columbia in expanding Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act. Nebraska and Utah are currently in the midst of similar ballot initiatives, and Maine passed one last year

*(sigh) OK, expect one more final confirmation soon, I hope...

Meanwhile, breaking news out of Utah as well:

Medical marijuana, independent redistricting and Medicaid expansion to be on November ballot

SALT LAKE CITY – The medical cannabis act, independent redistricting commission, and Utah decides healthcare act of 2018 initiatives all gathered enough signatures to be on the November ballot.

Lt. Governor Spencer J. Cox released the official signature gathering results Tuesday.

Direct primary election, or count my vote, and the freedom of association initiative, or keep my voice, gathered an insufficient amount of signatures to be on the ballot.

...In order for a citizen’s initiative to appear on the November ballot, bill sponsors are required to obtain legal signatures equal to 10 percent of votes cast by voters in Utah for President of the United States in the last election.

County clerks and the Office of Elections worked to process and verify signatures gathered, as well as signature removal form submissions.

As a reminder, Utah has an interesting situation re. Medicaid: The state government has already passed and signed into law a partial expansion of the program, but the ballot proposal, if successful, would trump (no pun intended) the new law, expanding Medicaid to twice as many people without any work requirement strings attached:

Gov. Gary Herbert signed a measure Tuesday to give more than 70,000 needy Utahns access to government health coverage, ending years of failed attempts on Capitol Hill to expand Medicaid in the state.

But whether House Bill 472 ever takes effect still remains uncertain. Under President Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Utah law needs approval by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which has sent mixed signals on whether it will fully sign off.

Even if CMS does approve HB472, it will likely be about a year — even on an aggressive schedule — before the state can begin enrolling people for coverage.