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House Bill 633 — Public assistance, pregnancy

House Bill 633 — Public assistance, pregnancy

Parrish Miller
February 26, 2024

Bill Description: House Bill 633 would expand Medicaid to offer increased postpartum coverage.

Rating: -5

NOTE: House Bill 633 includes some elements from House Bill 201, introduced during the 2023 legislative session. 

Does it create, expand, or enlarge any agency, board, program, function, or activity of government? Conversely, does it eliminate or curtail the size or scope of government?

Medicaid is one of the largest and most expensive government programs, always growing in size, scope, and spending. Through it, people are becoming increasingly dependent on government and private providers are being forced out of the market. 

House Bill 633 would create Section 56-270, Idaho Code, calling for a "state plan amendment" to "extend medicaid eligibility for twelve (12) months postpartum to individuals who, while pregnant, are eligible for and receive medicaid, in accordance with section 9812 of the American rescue plan act of 2021 and section 1902(e)(16) of the social security act." This change means more people will be enabled and encouraged to participate in this redistributive program of socialized medicine.


Does it transfer a function of the private sector to the government? Examples include government ownership or control of any providers of goods or services such as the Land Board's purchase of a self-storage facility, mandatory emissions testing, or pre-kindergarten. Conversely, does it eliminate a function of government or return a function of government to the private sector?

Health care should be provided and obtained in the private sector. Any time individuals are enabled or encouraged to seek health care or health care subsidies through government, the private market for health care is weakened and the people's dependence on government is increased. 


Does it increase government redistribution of wealth? Examples include the use of tax policy or other incentives to reward specific interest groups, businesses, politicians, or government employees with special favors or perks; transfer payments; and hiring additional government employees. Conversely, does it decrease government redistribution of wealth?

Medicaid is funded through a combination of tax dollars and government debt. Any time individuals are enabled or encouraged to seek health care or health care subsidies through government, they receive services funded through redistribution.


Does it increase government spending (for objectionable purposes) or debt? Conversely, does it decrease government spending or debt?

The Fiscal Note for House Bill 633 claims the bill "has no fiscal impact," but this is false. Expanding Medicaid always requires increased government spending, even if this spending could be limited solely to federal funds. Increasing Idaho's dependency on debt-financed federal funding. Federal money comes either from taxpayers or from debt that will eventually have to be paid by taxpayers and is therefore not “free,” as some allege.


Does it violate the principles of federalism by increasing federal authority, yielding to federal blandishments, or incorporating changeable federal laws into Idaho statutes or rules? Examples include citing federal code without noting as it is written on a certain date, using state resources to enforce federal law, and refusing to support and uphold the Tenth Amendment. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the principles of federalism?

Most funding for Medicaid comes from the federal government, which means that as the program grows, the state becomes increasingly dependent on federal dollars, and those federal dollars become an ever larger share of the state budget. As has been seen with Medicaid and other federal programs, federal dollars come with strings that obligate the state to comply with policies and priorities that go against its best interests.


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