Utah Policy/KSL Insider Survey: Will the Utah Legislature Pass Medicaid Expansion?

utahpolicy ksl 400 wide smaWith the failure of the latest plan for Medicaid expansion, the issue will now wait until the 2016 Legislature for a possible resolution. Our “Political Insiders” think lawmakers will be able to get something done, but they’re not expecting more than a small solution.

57% of the Democrats and Republicans on our panel say legislators will pass a “bare bones” plan next year. 43% of Republicans and 41% of Democrats think legislators won’t be able to address the problem next year. Surprisingly, 2% of the Republicans who responded said the legislature will pass full Medicaid expansion.


Selected anonymous comments:

“The longer the issue drags on, the less likely it will pass.”

“None of us want to be paying higher taxes. But according to the US Constitution, it is the responsibility of the government to ‘promote the general welfare’ which is what Medicaid is all about, and our legislators need to stop trying to skirt the issue and actually come up with a good, viable way to get the people that need this coverage covered. Will they do it???”
“They continue to treat the poor poorly. Most claim to be Christian, but they really don’t act like it.”
“They will pass a Utah plan outside of the ACA to responsibly care for the needy among us without federal strings attached.”
“People who think money grows on trees wish we could provide health coverage to everyone — even if the money is not there to pay for it. They are okay with spending now and passing the bill to the next generation. So far, lawmakers are acting in the best interest of those who pay the bills by not spending money that is not there. We need affordable health care, not more people getting high-priced health care.”
“Sad note on our legislature. Medicaid is needed by so many Utah citizens, and the continued denial is shameful. How wonderful it would be if we could create a more balanced political equation in our state and get rid of the many dim and short-sighted members of the legislature!”
“Utah continues to forgo hundreds of millions in federal funds as it frets about paying its small portion. In the meantime, people are dying for lack of healthcare. It is unfathomable that our legislature can not take action that is so clearly in the best interests of the state.”
“They will likely avoid as much controversy from either side of the issue that they can and pass a ‘token’ bill.”
“They will pass a bare-bones plan because the entire house will be up for re-election in 2016. Getting re-elected is far more important to Hughes and his minions than passing a full Medicaid plan that will benefit the citizens of Utah.”
“The legislature could get something done about Medicaid expansion in 2016 as it could have in 2015. It won’t, though, because of the GOP members of the House of Representatives. They are so ideologically opposed to Medicaid in general and the Affordable Care Act, in particular, that they are failing to bring federal tax dollars paid by Utahns back to the state to help out poor, working taxpayers. This is effectively dereliction of duty masquerading as concern over cost control.”
“Why is today different from any other day? They can’t do it because they don’t understand cause and effect. Pay now, pay a little, healthier people can [some, sometimes] work and take care of themselves. Never pay, pay a lot for the care of the many unhealthy people later. Of course, it’s true there is some attrition, some will die. Is that the objective?”
“At this point they know they have to do something just to safe face with the general public and play to their Obama hating constituents back in their districts. Let’s hear it for one party rule.”
“They will put it off until after the Presidential election in 2016 to see what the lay of the land is in DC regarding funding of programs like this.”
“They will continue to drag things out until after the election.”
“We will not see Medicaid expansion in Utah until major changes in the political climate have taken place. This state has run off the rails of good governance.”
“As a Republican it makes me both frustrated and sad that the legislature and governor’s office can’t get their act together on this issue. Their behavior makes the party look as though the members lack compassion and have any desire to help people in need. They are petty, not wanting to have anything to do with Obamacare when conservative states across the country have done good work on this issue. Time and time again, the members of the Legislature would rather throw out the baby with the bathwater on any issue that could be too close to leadership.”
“There is a willingness to pass a bare-bones plan but the Governor wants 100% or nothing. So, he will continue to get nothing.”
“I think they will pass something because they have to. I think they will go with Alan Christensen’s concept of capping the exposure and limiting the state’s liability.”
“Well besides the Tribune acting like a teenage girl who lost her first love and spending like a drunken sailor, we can’t afford it. This state counts on the federal government for billions of our state budget. Everyone — especially the Tribune and Herbert — needs to retake third-grade math.”