Utah Republicans gut Medicaid expansion months after voters approved it

Utah voters went to the polls in November and voted for their state to expand Medicaid through Obamacare. In the grand Republican tradition, the state’s legislature and Gov. Gary Herbert just shrank that expansion. If the Trump administration approves it, the Utah Republican plan will cover 60,000 fewer people than the Utah voter plan would have … and it will kick off with tens of millions of dollars in extra costs.

According to Herbert, “It is now time to set aside differences and move forward to get those in greatest need enrolled on Medicaid and on the federal health care exchanges.” Translation: I’ve trampled on the will of the voters. Let’s move on, mmkay?

The limited expansion that Republicans are seeking would lower the eligibility threshold for Medicaid from 138 percent of the federal poverty line and would impose enrollment caps. Only if the Trump administration rejects the request for a limited Medicaid expansion would the full Obamacare expansion kick in, albeit with a work requirement. The Trump administration isn’t formally commenting, but Herbert says he’s discussed the plan with Seema Verma, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. And as we know, the Trump administration loves to find ways to deny people health care.


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