Healthy Utah Plan

Andrea Smardon / KUER

A new analysis of Medicaid expansion proposals released Tuesday morning finds that Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s plan is the best deal for the state, but House Majority leader Jim Dunnigan says the report won’t affect his decisions moving forward.

Mark Fischer via Creative Commons

Eighty-six thousand poor and middle-class Utahns can keep the tax subsidies they receive from the federal government to help them afford health insurance. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 on Thursday to uphold federal subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

The Utah legislative session ended with no solution to the healthcare coverage gap, but Governor Gary Herbert and GOP state lawmakers say they have a plan.

Andrea Smardon

Those in favor of the Governor’s Healthy Utah Plan have not admitted defeat, even though the bill supporting that plan was voted down by a House committee Wednesday night.

Brian Grimmett

Two opposing healthcare bills aimed at covering  the uninsured were heard in a House committee last night. Only one of them passed.

Brian Grimmett

A partial Medicaid expansion plan that would provide healthcare coverage to Utah’s most vulnerable population failed to pass the senate floor on Thursday.

Governor Gary Herbert says he’s still holding out hope that his amended Healthy Utah plan will be considered by the state House of Representatives, even though House Speaker Greg Hughes says it has no chance of passing.

Brian Grimmett

A bill modeled after Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s Medicaid expansion plan “Healthy Utah” passed the full Senate Wednesday. But the bill might be stalled in the House. 

Voices for Utah Children

The group Voices for Utah children released a study this week that shows how Governor Gary Herbert’s Medicaid expansion plan could help working families.

Courtesy photo

A bill challenging Governor Gary Herbert’s Healthy Utah Plan is moving forward on Capitol Hill.

Brian Grimmett / KUER

A Republican lawmaker has filed a bill that would be an alternative to Governor Gary Herbert’s Medicaid expansion plan.

Brian Grimmett

Republican state lawmakers held a conference call last week with federal government officials to talk about possible alternatives to Governor Gary Herbert’s Medicaid expansion plan. They did not include the governor on this call.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Governor Gary Herbert made the case for his Medicaid expansion plan this week, but fellow Republican lawmakers are still not convinced.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

In the wake of the death of former Utah House speaker Rebecca Lockhart, new speaker Greg Hughes was sworn in today and laid out his agenda for the legislative session.

The Office of the Utah Governor

Utah Governor Gary Herbert met with President Barack Obama Tuesday in Washington. After the meeting, Herbert said there may be room for further negotiation on his health plan.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Some influential Utah lawmakers delivered a blow Thursday to Governor Gary Herbert’s plan to expand health coverage to low-income Utahns. In a motion led by Republicans, the state Health Reform Task Force voted not to recommend the governor’s plan to the legislature. Instead, they recommended their own plan.

Andrea Smardon

  When Governor Gary Herbert announced the details of his Healthy Utah plan last week, the Presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and several other religious leaders stood with him.

But some members of the Utah legislature say there’s more than one way to do what those religious leaders are asking – provide health care to needy people in Utah. 

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Governor Gary Herbert officially unveiled his plan Thursday to close the coverage gap and help low income Utahns get health insurance under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Governor Gary Herbert has concluded negotiations with the Obama administration on his Healthy Utah Plan, but that doesn’t mean it will necessarily take effect in Utah. The state legislature still has to weigh in, and lawmakers might be hatching a different plan.

KUED

  Utah Governor Gary Herbert says he’s finally worked out a deal with the Obama administration on the details of his Healthy Utah plan, but he still has to get it through the Utah legislature. 

Brian Grimmett / KUER

Governor Gary Herbert is still encountering resistance from fellow Republicans on his plan to provide health coverage to the poor. Utah Department of Health officials briefed a committee of state lawmakers Thursday on their negotiations in Washington. The Governor has said he is pleased with the outcome, but some conservative state lawmakers are still not sold on the plan to expand government assistance in Utah.

A new poll shows that Utahns don’t know very much about Governor Gary Herbert’s plan to deliver health insurance to low-income citizens. But when they learn more, they tend to support it. KUER’s Andrea Smardon took to the streets to see for herself what Utahns know and don’t know about healthcare decisions facing state lawmakers. 

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Some conservative lawmakers are still resisting an expansion of Medicaid in Utah, despite testimony from those who can’t afford health coverage and a new analysis showing the economic benefits of the governor’s Healthy Utah proposal.

Charlotte Lawrence tried to contain her emotion as she sat before the state’s health reform task force, with her children on either side. She explained that she is a single parent, working two full time jobs, and she has been diagnosed with cancer. She says she’s done all she can to provide for herself and her family, but it’s not enough.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Wearing fake grass skirts and plastic leis, health advocates took turns going under a limbo pole in front of House Speaker Rebecca Lockhart’s office Wednesday. The idea was to highlight the plight of Utahns who fall into the Medicaid coverage gap, and the pole was steadily lowered to represent each month this year that they have not been able to pay for healthcare. The mood was light, but Christine Stenquist quickly became emotional when she began talking about why she is taking part in this demonstration.

Brian Grimmett

Members of the National Governors Association have selected Governor Gary Herbert to be the group's vice chair for the next year.  The new role could help Herbert push his agenda even further.

Salt Lake County faces a budget shortfall and service cuts if the state doesn’t accept Medicaid funds from the federal government. The County Council will draft a letter at their meeting Tuesday urging state lawmakers to support the Governor’s Healthy Utah Plan, and to do it this summer before the County has to complete its budget. 

Democratic Salt Lake County Councilor Sam Granato was hoping the legislature would have made a decision by now on whether Utah should accept Medicaid funds to provide health coverage for more than 110,000 low-income Utahns.