- Associated Press - Friday, March 18, 2016

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - An Idaho lawmaker says he is giving up his state-funded health insurance until the Legislature expands Medicaid.

Sen. Dan Schmidt, a Moscow Democrat, announced Thursday that he is giving up his health care benefits in response to the Legislature’s repeated blocking of bills that would close the health care gap for poor Idaho residents.

Schmidt says expanding Idaho’s Medicaid program would cover 78,000 residents who currently can’t afford insurance. Currently 32 states have expanded their Medicaid programs under President Barack Obama’s health care law, but Idaho and 18 other states have resisted.

The House Health and Welfare Committee announced Thursday that it will consider a new proposal to address the gap population on Monday.

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