FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 5, 2018
CONTACT: Katie Matheson | Alliance for a Better Utah
UTAHNS WILL BE LEFT #STILLWAITING UNDER MEDICAID EXPANSION BILL
Salt Lake City, UT – The Utah House of Representatives passed H.B. 472 from Rep. Robert Spendlove (R – Sandy) by a vote of 47-27. This bill would finally bring Medicaid expansion to Utah, but only for Utahns making up to 100% of the federal poverty level and includes work requirements and enrollment caps. A full Medicaid expansion proposal would cover people making up to 138% of the federal poverty level.
Chase Thomas, policy and advocacy counsel with Alliance for a Better Utah, issued the following statement:
“Representatives may want to pat themselves on the back for finally doing something they could have done three years ago, but they should wait to celebrate. Just this morning, the Center for Medicaid Services did not approve a request from Arkansas to lower their Medicaid coverage from 138% to 100%. Despite the rosy portrayal from Utah’s lawmakers, this actually does cast doubt on whether the proposed waiver to cover Utahns making up to 100% of the federal poverty level, instead of the full 138% would be approved by the Federal Government. If it is not, then all this will have been for naught.
“Regardless, even in the case that it was approved, this proposal would leave tens of thousands of Utahns out of the Medicaid expansion program. Fully expanding Medicaid would not place the state’s financial situation into the doom-and-gloom scenario that legislative leadership would like us to believe. However, it would help many more Utahns who desperately need that help. The time to fully expand Medicaid is now.”
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.