On Monday, Utah's select-controlled Medicaid expansion initiative was replaced by a more restrictive, initially more expensive, and dependent on a…
On Monday, Utah’s select-controlled Medicaid expansion initiative was replaced by a more restrictive, initially more expensive, and dependent on a series of uncertain federal concessions. Legislators say the bill is more economically sound in the long run.
Senators voted 22-7 to adopt the house version of SB96, which launches a partial medicaid expansion on April 1 and would return to full expansion only if federal administrators dismiss several requests for divestment of reasonable care laws.
“We do the long-term responsible thing,” says bills sponsor Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden “as we are bound by [state] does.”
By Monday afternoon, Utah Gary Gary Herbert had signed the bill. In a prepared statement, the Herbert bill said balancing compassion and insecurity.
“I do not accept the characterization that SB96 ignores the will of the people. I see this as a well thought-out effort to implement the will of the people to care for the poor with quality health care with the added benefit of being sustained over the long term without reducing others important social services, he says. 1
9659002] “It provides quality coverage to the same population covered by Proposition 3 in a meaningful, humane, and sustainable way,” Herbert said. “It’s time to cancel differences and move on to get the biggest needs at Medicaid and at the federal health exchanges. “
While SB96 allows the same population in Utah’s access to subsidized health care as under Proposition 3, it does not provide coverage for the same number of people. Low income Utah’s up to 138 percent of federal poverty level would may have participated in Medicaid under the initiative, while SB96 attracts 100 percent of the work
The remaining expansion population is provided under SB96 to purchase subsidized health insurance plans at the affordable health care individual marketplace with associated premiums, copays, deductibles, and other care care costs.
The bill was opposed by all six Senate Democrats and a Republican, Woods Cross Sen. Todd Weiler, who matched the Senate vote on previous iterations of the Medicaid expansion compensation bill.
“We still give the Utah population what they voted for,” said Luz Escamilla, D-Salt Lake City. “We could do it elsewhere.”
But some Republicans who oppose Medicaid expansion see the bill as less of two evil ones. On the Senate floor Monday, Lehi Republican later stated Jacob Jacobs several times that he “hates” SB96 and said that those who support expanding Medicaid are really motivated by a desire to establish universal public health.
And universal health care, Andragg said, would be “the worst thing that can happen to us.”
“I hate [SB96] but I will vote for it because I have no other options,” Anderegg said. “And on the same account, I fully admit and acknowledge that this will, in the spirit of the law, will meet most of what Prop 3 meant to people.”
Monday’s vote was criticized as “insulting” by the United Utah Party, a centrist political organization aimed at appealing to abused voters from both major parties.
In a statement, United States Utah party chairman Richard Davis said lawmakers had ignored research showing the economic value of a healthy population and that their actions on SB96 would jeopardize voter confidence.
“If anyone is wondering why so many people become cynical about politics,” Davis said, “all they have to do is look at what the legislature did to Bill 3”.
Utah voters approved three initiatives in November, dealing with medical marijuana, medicaid and independent redistricting. With Monday’s vote, legislators have substantially changed two of these initiatives, with the third Prop 4 – likely to face legal challenges, legislative changes, or both.
Requested when lawmakers would draw attention to Proposition 4 and redistricting, President Stuart Adams, R-Layton, Senate Secretary, said that there is already discussion but that there is time before the next round of electoral draw, which occurs after the 2020 census .
“There are questions about Prop 4 and constitutionality,” says Adams.
It can be expected that he added that any law, whether by law or vote initiative, will undergo adjustments, possibly for eternity.
“We’re going to work with cannabis or marijuana for the rest of our lives,” Adams said. “When we have a charter – a referendum or a bill before us – we will continue to work on it, probably forever.”
Salt Lake Tribune will update this story.