Idaho lawmakers introduce new health care plan

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho House legislative leaders have introduced a last-minute health care plan to provide basic services the state’s neediest population.

The plan has three main features. First, it would launch a new program for uninsured Idahoans or for those Medicaid to receive to receive coordinated care services. Second, hospitals would be directed to help find primary care providers for patients when appropriate rather than visiting emergency rooms — which tend to be more expensive. Finally, it would create a loan forgiveness program to help rural regions recruit doctors.

The House Ways and Means Committee, made up solely of Republic and Democratic leaders, unanimously agreed to usher in the plan on Friday. However, with the Legislature anticipating adjournment on March 24, it’s unclear how far the proposal will advance in the final days of the session.