FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 8, 2019
Salt Lake City, UT – Today, the Utah House of Representatives voted to enact S.B. 96, “Medicaid expansion adjustments.” Before the vote began, four faith leaders knelt in front of the doors to the House floor and staged a protest against S.B. 96. Members of the community showed up to support the faith leaders, and individuals wearing pins from Americans for Prosperity were present to counterprotest.
In the gallery, Utahns watched as the House debated and ultimately voted to repeal and replace Proposition 3, as voted on by a majority of Utahns in the November 2018 election.
Alliance for a Better Utah was there to witness the vote and watched the process outside and inside unfold. Chase Thomas, Better Utah executive director, issued the following statement:
“Today’s House vote was absolutely shameful. While the substitute made for a better bill, the best solution would have been to respect the intent of the people by implementing Proposition 3. A majority of Utahns across the state sent a loud and clear message in November that they wanted full Medicaid expansion, and they want their taxes to pay for it. Today, a number of representatives voted in opposition to their districts on Proposition 3, and for that they should be particularly ashamed.
“At the end of the day, S.B. 96 has never been about the money. If the various fiscal concerns stated by members of the Utah Legislature were legitimate, they would have passed H.B. 210 today, not just keeping it as a failsafe option. Instead, the Legislature has been pushing its philosophical opposition to “Obamacare.” Now voters are left with a subpar bill that covers fewer people with Medicaid, requires people in a certain income level be covered through the healthcare exchange, and includes caps and work requirements.
“No matter the amount of lipstick they put on it, S.B. 96 is still a pig, and not the plan Utahns voted for in November. Given the demonstrations today, we doubt Utahns will forget these votes come 2020. We will do everything in our power to make sure they don’t forget.”
Alliance for a Better Utah is a good government advocacy and watchdog organization based in Salt Lake City. The organization works to improve the lives of all Utahns by ensuring balance, transparency, and accountability in Utah politics, policy, and government. More information at www.betterutah.org.