Gov. Herbert’s plan to use federal block grant money instead of expanding Medicaid in Utah is drawing praise from those who have been advocating for expanding healthcare coverage for low-income Utahns.
Jason Stevenson and RyLee Curtis with the Utah Health Policy Project say the process has been long, but they’re glad to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
“We’ve often wondered if some of the people in Utah who might qualify for Medicaid might actually qualify for Medicare this has taken so long,” says Stevenson. “This is a difficult, complicated process. But what Gov. Herbert has come up with may actually pave the way for other Republican states to expand their healthcare as well.”
Herbert’s plan is now one of four ideas for dealing with healthcare on the Hill. The House and Senate each have a plan of their own, and there is always the option of doing nothing.
Stevenson says, with just a few days left in the session, there’s a lot of work still to be done.
“There is going to be a lot of heavy lifting and education. There needs to be some education as to what this plan is and what it does and how it gives flexibility back in Utah. For those of us in the advocacy community, we do have some concerns about the cost sharing and how it will impact low income people. We need to let the Legislature know this is the best way forward and the wisest use of our taxpayer money.”