A new poll shows that Utahns broadly support Governor Gary Herbert’s Healthy Utah Plan, which aims to help low income residents get affordable health insurance.
The poll performed by Dan Jones Associates asked 623 Utah Voters how they felt about Governor Herbert’s Healthy Utah Plan and what they thought of it when compared to other potential solutions. The results show that 88% of voters prefer the Governor’s plan over doing nothing and 70% prefer his plan over simply expanding the Medicaid program. The poll also drilled down into how Utahns feel about specific parts of the plan, such as requiring co-pays and helping people obtain private insurance plans. Sven Wilson helped analyze the data and says those questions indicated even more support for the governor’s plan.
“Those set of questions are much more basic questions about general values," he says. "Is it appropriate for the Government to provide people with health insurance who can’t afford it? So personally I was surprised that the support for that among conservative republicans was as high as it was, but it was substantial.”
A coalition of organizations, including the Utah Health Policy Project, AARP Utah, and the Utah Hospital Association commissioned the poll. RyLee Curtis is the Medicaid Policy Analyst for UHPP. She says the results of the poll are encouraging.
“We support coming to a Utah solution," she says. "And you know, if that is the Governor’s Healthy Utah plan, I think that we will be there supporting that. If it is Medicaid expansion, we are in support of that, but we’re willing to collaborate and communicate with our community partners and come to a compromise.”
The specific details of the Healthy Utah plan are still not set in stone as the Governor’s office is working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to come to an agreement. If the plan receives approval from the feds, it will ultimately need support from the state legislature to take effect