Governor Gary Herbert signed a modified version of medicaid expansion into Utah law this week. When Utah Proposition 3 passed with 53.32% it was with the hope that it provide Medicaid for persons under the age of 65 with incomes equal to or below 138 percent of the federal poverty line. The hope was to increase the sales tax from 4.70 to 4.85 percent to finance the state’s portion of the costs to expand Medicaid. Utah State Legislature in 2018 session modified and set up a restricted Medicaid expansion plan the bill being called SB 96, Medicaid Expansion Adjustments. The bill includes approximately 70,000 additional people under coverage—compared to the estimated 150,000 that would gain coverage under traditional expansion. The alternative version needs special approval from the federal government to become effective. Governor Gary R. Herbert signed the bill on Monday, February 11 and issued the following statement: “SB 96 balances Utah’s sense of compassion and frugality. It provides quality coverage to the same population covered by Proposition 3 in a meaningful, humane and sustainable way. It is now time to set aside differences and move forward to get those in greatest need enrolled on Medicaid and on the federal health care exchanges.”
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