Health Care
1:58 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Herbert Says Doing Nothing on Medicaid Expansion is Not an Option

File: Governor Gary Herbert
Credit Utah Education Network

Governor Gary Herbert says he’s decided what the state will do about expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. But he’s not ready yet to announce just what that is.

Herbert told reporters at his monthly news conference on KUED this morning that he’ll announce his decision during the legislative session, which starts next week. But he wouldn’t go into detail about just how the state plans to work with the federal government on Medicaid.

"Doing nothing – which has been an option on the table – I’ve taken off the table," he says. "Doing nothing is not an option. We have about 60-thousand people in Utah who live below the poverty line, which, because of flaws in the Affordable Care Act, will not have the coverage that is necessary for them to access good health care.”

Many states have opted to expand their Medicaid programs as outlined in the Affordable Care Act, while other states have approached the federal government with their own plan. Herbert says Utah’s young population and other factors make the state’s situation unique. As for the announcement, he’ll only say, “Stay tuned.”