Advocates encourage Utahns to weigh in on Medicaid waiver request

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah- (ABC4 News) – The state of Utah is taking the next step with the Medicaid expansion plan passed by the legislature this year.

The waiver process includes a public comment period, and local advocates are calling on Utahns to speak up.

Natalie Najera of Clearfield already has. She has four adult children who rely on Medicaid.

“As they got older we found out they had a disability, and they needed the Medicaid for the extra medical care,” said Najera.

She says it helps the family overcome a burden they wouldn’t be able to otherwise.

“If you are paying that out of pocket that cuts back on other things like food and your utilities.”

That’s why she’s watching closely as the state moves forward with it’s Medicaid expansion plan.

The next step is a waiver asking the federal government to pay 90% of the cost, up from the current 70%.

It also includes per-capita caps.

The public comment period just got underway, and local advocates say this is a crucial time.

“I know a lot of people are maybe jaded because of what happened with Proposition 3 and Medicaid expansion was repealed. Now, they are asking for these harmful waivers, but this really is an easy, simple process,” said Courtney Bullard with Utah Health Policy Project.

Najera has submitted her concerns, and she’s asking other Utahns to do the same.

“Get on there and tell them what you need,” Najera said.

The Utah Department of Health is hosting two public hearings to gather input.

You can also submit your comments online.

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Glen Mills

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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...