Advocacy Update

Feb. 22, 2019: Judicial Advocacy Update


On Nov. 6, 2018, Idaho voters passed Proposition 2 to expand Medicaid coverage to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. On Nov. 20, 2018, it was certified into law. Shortly thereafter, Brent Regan, backed by the Idaho Freedom Foundation—the main opponents of Proposition 2—filed a lawsuit in the Idaho Supreme Court against Lawrence Denney, the Idaho secretary of state.

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The lawsuit claimed that the Medicaid expansion law is unconstitutional because it inappropriately delegates legislative authority to the state executive branch and to the federal government. The Idaho attorney general, representing the secretary of state, is objecting to the lawsuit on both procedural and substantive grounds.

On Dec. 18, 2018, the Idaho Medical Association (IMA), along with two patients who would receive Medicaid coverage under the new law and a physician who treats uninsured patients, obtained Supreme Court permission to intervene as additional defendants. On Feb. 5, 2019, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled in favor of the defendants, including IMA.