Governor pitches Medicaid plan during State of the State

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Gov. Gary Herbert is calling on Utah lawmakers to approve his Medicaid expansion plan this year, saying it's a responsible way to help those in need and get taxpayer money returned to the state.

Herbert said during his annual State of the State address Wednesday that he will work with legislative leaders on the issue.

The Republican governor spent months negotiating a tentative deal with the federal government that would help about 90,000 of Utah's poor get private health insurance.

He's facing a tough sell with Utah's Republican-controlled Legislature, which needs to sign off on the idea.

Republican lawmakers cite concerns about whether the federal government will follow-through on its promise to help and the long-term costs to the state, which are estimated to grow to $78 million a year.

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