Advocates call for immediate expansion of Medicaid program

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah- (ABC4 News) – Local advocates are calling on state leaders to immediately expand Medicaid as approved by Utah voters last November.

This comes as the replacement plan takes a major hit.

“It was very exciting for advocates in Utah because we know there is a path forward to full Medicaid expansion,” said Stacy Stanford with Utah Health Policy Project.

Prop 3 expanded Medicaid to Utahns who live at or below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level.

The legislature modified it with SB96, expanding Medicaid to those at or below 100% of the FPL while the state tried to get waivers for the amended plan.

Late Friday the state was informed the latest waiver, seeking a 90/10 split with the feds, would not be approved.

In a joint statement Governor Gary Herbert, Senate President Stuart Adams and House Speaker Brad Wilson said:

“We remain committed to working together to find solutions to Medicaid expansion under the process set forth in S.B. 96. In the coming days and weeks, the governor and legislature will work in close partnership to evaluate the current situation to ensure Utah continues to provide a Medicaid program with long-term fiscal sustainability.”

SB96 includes a fallback to Prop 3 next year, but advocates say there’s no reason to wait.

“There is no reason to delay. We are paying three-times more than we need to be. If we submit that state plan amendment tomorrow and receive that 90/10 federal match, that’s a much better fiscal solution for the state of Utah,” said Stanford.

Advocates are hosting a rally at the Capitol Rotunda in support of their cause this Thursday from 4:30 to 6 pm.

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 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...