Utah Capitol 07

Utah Republicans should probably tread lightly as they plan to make changes to the voter-approved Prop. 3, which fully expands Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

An analysis of election results finds voters in a majority of House and Senate districts also approved the measure, suggesting there is no mandate for lawmakers to make changes to the proposition.

According to numbers compiled by UtahPolicy.com. Prop. 3 was approved by voters in 17 of Utah’s 29 Senate districts. Voters in 43 of 75 House districts also approved the measure.

Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, and Rep. Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, are working on the effort to revise the full expansion to cover a more modest number of Utahns. That could be a sticky situation for the two men as voters in their own districts voted in favor of the full expansion under Prop. 3. 54% of Allen’s district approved the expansion, while nearly 58% of Dunnigan’s voters voted in favor.

Allen and Dunnigan are working on legislation to give coverage to Utahns earning at or below the federal poverty level. Prop. 3 gives coverage to Utahns under 138 percent of the poverty level, which is required to unlock federal funds that would cover 90 percent of the cost. Anything below that level is a 70/30 split with the federal government meaning Utah would need to get a waiver from the Trump administration in order to get the 90/10 match. That is similar to the limited Medicaid expansion passed by the legislature last year.

As you might expect, the districts with the highest level of support for Prop. 3 are mostly represented by Democrats, but there are a few Republicans who may think twice before supporting significant changes to Prop. 3. Those Republican-held districts are:

House

 

Senate

 

Rep. Craig Hall

64.6%

Sen. Kirk Cullimore

57.3%

Rep. Steve Eliason

60.5%

Sen. Todd Weiler

56.7%

Rep. Dan Johnson

60.3%

Sen. Wayne Harper

55.5%

Rep. Tim Quinn

59.4%

Sen Daniel Thatcher

54.6%

Rep. Eric Hutchings

59.4%

Sen. Ann Millner

54.4%

Rep. Mike Winder

58.5%

Sen. Allen Christensen

54.1%

Rep. Robert Spendlove

58.1%

Sen. Lyle Hillyard

51.5%

Rep. Jim Dunnigan

57.6%

Sen. Ronald Winterton

51.4%

Rep. Ray Ward

55.7%

Sen. David Hinkins

51.0%

Rep. Steve Waldrip

55.4%

Sen. Stuart Adams

50.6%

Rep. Melissa Garff Ballard

55.3%

Sen. Curt Bramble

50.6%

Rep. Cheryl Acton

55.2%

   

Rep. Calvin Musselman

54.9%

   

Rep. Ken Ivory

53.9%

   

Rep. Christine Watkins

53.8%

   

Rep. Norm Thurston

53.5%

   

Rep. Adam Robertson

53.5%

   

Rep. Steve Handy

53.5%

   

Rep. Karianne Lisonbee

52.6%

   

Rep. Doug Sagers

51.9%

   

Rep. Kelly Miles

51.8%

   

Rep. Paul Ray

50.7%

   

Rep. Stuart Barlow

50.6%

   

Rep. Kyle Andersen

50.4%

   

Rep. Jeff Stenquist

50.2%

   

Rep. Kim Coleman

50.2%

   

Rep. Carl Albrecht

50.1%

   

While most of the rank and file in both bodies saw their voters approve Prop. 3 in November, most of the GOP leadership on Capitol Hill saw the measure fail in their own districts. The only exceptions are Senate President Stuart Adams, R-Layton and Assistant Senate Whip Ann Millner, R-Ogden.

On Thursday at his monthly KUED press conference, Gov. Gary Herbert cast doubt on legislative plans to alter Prop. 3 saying the full expansion should be allowed to take place for a few years before any changes are made.