House Minority Leader Rep. Brian King says he’s frustrated that the latest plan to expand Medicaid failed. But he’s even more frustrated that there were so many obstacles put in front of the plan, it virtually assured it’s demise.
“The Speaker says he will allow the will of the body to determine what happens; then he says that they need 38 Republican votes to pass anything out of the House. That’s remarkably obstructionist,” says King.
Speaker Hughes held the position that he wanted 38 votes in the House Republican Caucus in favor of any Medicaid expansion plan. That would be enough support to pass the bill without the need for any Democratic votes. King bristles at that assertion.
“Are you saying you want to change the rules of the game?” says King. “I think the fact that he’s been so persistent in regards to Medicaid expansion to say he requires 38 votes, he’s committed to that, and that’s why we need to say to the people of Utah, this is why we need to elect more Democrats.”
King says the failure of the House Republicans to pass Medicaid expansion could be an effective election issue in 2016.
“We do need to get out and say to people; this is one-party control. Do you like it? Do you like the fact that something that 70% of the people in the state of Utah want to see passed is being stifled in the House? Something that the governor supports, something that the president of the Senate. It’s being plugged up in the House because we have some right-wing conservatives saying we don’t care what the people of the state of Utah want.”