Medicaid

Utah Governor's Office

Utah Governor Gary Herbert and Republican legislative leaders said they were optimistic Wednesday after leaving a meeting in Washington with federal officials, but they say they’re starting over to find an agreement on Medicaid.

Cornell University

More Utah children with autism will soon have access to behavioral therapy. The state is preparing to expand its Medicaid program to include autism services.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Republican state lawmakers have committed to come up with an agreement to close the health insurance coverage gap for the poor in Utah this year. But House Speaker Greg Hughes says a deal on Medicaid expansion rides on the Obama administration’s willingness to compromise. 

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 / KUER

The Utah House of Representatives passed a resolution Monday night making it more difficult to revive legislation that has failed to pass in committee. The move comes after Democrats attempted last week to bring a bill advancing Governor Gary Herbert’s Healthy Utah Plan to the House floor.

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.

Mike Renlund via Creative Commons

In a major pivot for Utah House leadership, two Medicaid expansion plans will go before a House Committee as lawmakers approach the final week of the general session.

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 / 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.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Most people who end up in Salt Lake County jail go in with some kind of mental illness or addiction to drugs. While there, they have access to mental health treatment. They usually leave sober, but support services outside of jail are difficult to find. In the final part of our series Last Resort, KUER follows some former inmates to see what happens to them after their release.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

For those in Utah who are addicted to drugs or mentally ill, jail may be one of the only places where treatment is free and accessible. In part one of a two-part series, KUER looks at how Salt Lake County cares for its incarcerated population.

Talking to people outside the Road Home shelter in Salt Lake City, you hear about job losses and the deaths of family members and friends, life events that can derail those who don’t have much of a support system, but you also hear another prevailing strain.

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. 

Brian Grimmett

Governor Gary Herbert says he is very close to an agreement with the federal government on his proposal to provide health insurance for those under the poverty line.

Coming out of his meeting with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell in Washington, Governor Herbert says he’s gotten about 95 percent of what he’s asked for, and he’s optimistic that a final agreement should be reached shortly.

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

A national poll shows Utah’s uninsured rate has not changed since the federal Affordable Care Act required all Americans to have health insurance.  This reflects trends across the country, where states that fully embraced the law's coverage expansion are experiencing a significant drop in the number of uninsured residents. But Utah and other states whose leaders still object to Obamacare are seeing much less change.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Utah lawmakers were stunned to hear Thursday that the number of people who fall in the so-called health coverage gap is significantly higher than they thought. Researchers from the University of Utah presented results from a new report on the Medicaid eligibility expansion population to a state health committee.

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

The Salt Lake County Council is sending a letter this week to the Utah legislature asking them to support the Governor’s Healthy Utah Plan and accept Medicaid funds. County councilors have said those federal funds could offset a 12 percent budget shortfall for behavioral health services expected next year. But so far, state lawmakers are holding firm in their positions on Medicaid.

Pages