Payer Roundup—Idaho Supreme Court rejects challenge to state’s Medicaid expansion 

Wooden gavel and gold legal scale that appear to have sunlight falling on them
The Idaho Supreme Court has rejected a legal challenge aiming to block the state's voter-mandated Medicaid expansion, plus more payer headlines. (Getty Images/William_Potter)

Idaho Supreme Court rejects challenge to state’s Medicaid expansion 

The Idaho Supreme Court upheld the state’s voter-mandated Medicaid expansion against a legal challenge from a conservative think tank. 

The Idaho Freedom Foundation argued in its lawsuit that by expanding the program the state ceded too much of its power to the federal government. The court said that argument was “unpersuasive,” as many state laws—including the current Medicaid program—reference federal statutes. 

The Idaho Attorney General’s Office called the lawsuit “frivolous.” 

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State legislators are considering guardrails to the expanded program, including work requirements, lifetime limits and copayments. (Idaho Statesman

Report: Consumers are not using HSAs for long-term savings 

Consumers are using the funds in their health savings accounts for more immediate healthcare costs instead of saving that money for the long term, according to a new report. 

Lively, an HSA platform, polled 15,000 of its users for the report. It found that the rising costs of care are a hindrance for consumers who may want to save up for a more long-term health investment. 

Use of HSAs is also on the rise alongside increasing enrollment in high-deductible health plans, Lively found. 

“Rising national healthcare costs, while significant, discount the expected acceleration of future healthcare costs as this younger population ages and major medical expenses impact their spending,” the report concluded. “As a result, healthcare spending will not just increase in the coming years, it will grow to unforeseen highs.” (Report

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis proposes to maintain status quo in state’s Medicaid program 

Newly instated Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is going easy on the state’s Medicaid program in his first budget proposal, after calling for major cuts on the campaign trail. 

DeSantis’ budget backs a $98 million cut in Medicaid spending that was approved by legislators last year, after Florida was granted a waiver that allowed it to shrug off healthcare costs for potential enrollees as they are screened for Medicaid eligibility. 

Other than that cut, DeSantis proposes Medicaid payments at rates state economists suggested late last year instead of a significant decrease. (Health News Florida

Texas AG wants to block coverage protections for abortion, transgender care in ACA 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and leaders in seven other states asked a federal judge to permanently roll back discrimination protections for abortion and transgender care in the Affordable Care Act. 

These protections haven’t been enforced for more than two years, but the officials say they should be eliminated. Judge Reed O’Connor—the same judge that declared the ACA unconstitutional in December—put enforcement on hold in 2016 after the federal government requested an opportunity to revisit how it defines sex in relation to discrimination. 

“The federal government has no right to force Texans to pay for surgical procedures intended to change a person’s sex,” Paxton said. (The Dallas Morning News

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