Listen to KID NewsRadio’s full interview with Representative John Vander Woude

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho ー As the Idaho Legislative session enters its third month, lawmakers are still grappling with Medicaid expansion.

“At this point we haven’t cobbled together enough votes for something that we can actually get across the floor and over to the Senate,”  Majority Caucus Leader Representative John Vander Woude told KID NewsRadio. “People want more, people want less, people want nothing, and so between all of those, it’s hard to get everybody to agree on something.”

With Medicaid expansion at a temporary standstill, lawmakers know they can’t end the session without passing some solutions. Governor Brad Little has said he will call the legislature back for a special session if they end the current legislative session without implementing Medicaid expansion.

“We understand where the governor is at and we understand what the voter initiative is and I believe it’s our responsibility to get something done,” Rep. Vander Woude said. “The governor has asked for an Idaho way, and so that’s what we’re trying to put together is an Idaho way to move Prop 2 forward and get it implemented.”

In the midst of it all is another issue lawmakers are trying to agree on: work requirements for Medicaid expansion.

“The bill that I had proposed was work requirements that are very similar to [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ] with the one change is that SNAP says that if you have a child under six at home and you’re the caregiver for that child, then you are exempt from the work requirements,” Rep. Vander Woude said. “We upped that to if you had a child under 18, you were exempt from the work requirements.”

Read the full bill proposal:



Currently, House Bill 249 is in the House Health and Welfare Committee.