- Associated Press - Friday, January 15, 2016

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Idaho’s state budget writers will move about $29 million from a program that helps cover hospital bills for emergency medical care in the general fund.

The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee voted Friday to transfer the money from the Catastrophic Health Care program. That’s $12 million in addition to the nearly $17 million that Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has already recommended be returned to the state’s general coffer from the CAT fund.

Costs for the CAT fund have been dropping, and it’s expected to still have enough money to continue covering its payments. The fund pays hospitals for emergency medical care given to residents who can’t afford to pay the bills on their own.

Sen. Dan Schmidt, a Democrat from Moscow, says the CAT fund expenses are likely dropping because more Idaho residents are signing up for health insurance through the state’s Health Insurance Exchange.

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This story has been corrected to show that Sen. Schmidt’s first name is Dan, not Dave.


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