Advocates call for immediate expansion of Medicaid program


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 Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 News at 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. 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...

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