The Latest: Governor signs scaled-back Medicaid expansion

By The Associated Press | Posted - Feb 11th, 2019 @ 4:27pm


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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Latest on a plan to scale back Medicaid expansion in Utah (all times local):

4:20 p.m.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has signed a plan to scale back a voter-approved Medicaid expansion despite protests that it slashes the measure that passed at the ballot box.

Herbert says in a statement Monday that the proposal balances compassion and frugality in a "humane and sustainable" way.

He says it's time to set aside the contentious debate and move forward.

Supporters of the original ballot measure, though, have said lawmakers turned their backs on thousands of people who won't be eligible for Medicaid under the Legislature's plan.

Lawmakers say changes are needed to keep costs under control, and people not eligible for Medicaid can buy federally subsidized insurance.

It hinges on federal waivers that would allow a reduction in the number of people covered and addition of work requirements.

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12:15 p.m.

Utah lawmakers' contentious plan to scale back a voter-approved Medicaid expansion is headed to the governor's desk.

The Utah Senate voted 22-7 on Monday to approve the proposal that would extend Medicaid to about 50,000 fewer people than the ballot measure.

GOP lawmakers say their plan will cover the state's neediest while preventing costs from spiraling out of control. Health-care advocates, though, say it reduces access to needed health care and undermines the vote.

It expands Medicaid to cover people making up to 100 percent of the poverty line; those who make more than that can buy subsidized insurance on the federal health care exchanges.

The plan requires waivers from the federal government, and it they don't come through the measure would revert back to much of the voter-approved proposal.

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