Sen. Mitt Romney said Sunday he agreed with the move by Utah lawmakers to replace Prop. 3 with a stripped-down version of Medicaid expansion.
Romney said on “Meet The Press” that the effort by Republicans in the Legislature was “reasonable” as a hedge against possible rising costs.
“The legislature in Utah said, look, we want to make sure if we’re going to expand our Medicaid population, we’re only going to do so as long as the federal government is picking up the 90% of the bill. If the federal government decides to back off the 90% number, then the state legislature doesn’t want to pick up the bill,” said Romney. “I think it’s a reasonable position the legislature has taken.”
The scaled-back version of Medicaid expansion passed by lawmakers during the 2019 session covers fewer people than the full expansion approved by voters during the 2018 midterm elections. Prop. 3 gives Medicaid coverage to poor Utahns earning up to 138% of the federal poverty level with the federal government picking up 90% of the cost.
The plan passed by lawmakers expands Medicaid to Utahns only at 100% of the federal poverty level. It includes a work requirement and lifetime caps on benefits. The federal government will pay 90% of the cost, but only if Utah can get a waiver from the Trump administration.