Health advocates who have been stymied by Idaho's Republican-dominant Legislature to expand Medicaid have filed paperwork for a ballot initiative.
Deputy Secretary of State Tim Hurst said Monday that the state elections office received the ballot initiative proposal last week. The initiative must now be vetted by the Attorney General's office before supporters can start collecting enough signatures to get it on the 2018 ballot.
Idaho lawmakers have long refused to consider expanding Medicaid eligibility in Idaho while also failing to come up with a solution to provide health coverage to the estimated 78,000 Idahoans who currently don't qualify for Medicaid or make too much to for a subsidy.
The primary argument against expansion has been that accepting federal dollars only comes with regulatory burdens that do not help lower the growing costs of medical care.