Idaho Supreme Court

KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho - Idaho voters said “yes” to Proposition 2 by a nearly 60-to-40 percent margin in November.

Prop Two, which expands Medicaid coverage to people 65 years or younger whose income is 138 percent below the poverty line, was even endorsed by Idaho Governor Butch Otter.

However, the expansion sits in limbo.

A recently filed lawsuit by Brent Regan, a chairman for both the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee and the Idaho Freedom Foundation, is suing Idaho’s Attorney General, Lawerence Denney, in an attempt to block Proposition 2.

Regan did not want to be interviewed for this story.

But, Idaho Freedom Foundation’s Vice-President, Fred Birnbaum, echoed the lawsuit saying it’s unconstitutional.

"That Idaho, by passing this law, is unconstitutionally delegating legislative authority to the federal government,” Birnbaum said.

An example Birnbaum used was if Congress were to raise the poverty rate that Medicaid covers from $17,000 to $30,000, and under Proposition 2, Idaho would have to follow suit.

Which is why they feel their case should be heard in the Idaho Supreme Court.

“The state Supreme Court is the appropriate to determine the constitutionality of the ballot initiative,” Birnbaum said.

Those in favor of Prop 2 tell KHQ that quote “we've already done our due diligence. We're focused on moving forward with the implementation and funding process so that the 62,000 Idahoans living in the coverage gap can get the healthcare they need."

The Idaho Supreme Court will hear both sides of the argument on January 29th, 2019.

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