Medicaid expansion

KUED

Earlier this week, the chair of the Utah Democratic party Peter Corroon criticized state Republican lawmakers for failing to act on a Medicaid expansion. He said all he could do was pray the governor would call a special legislative session to resolve the issue. Corroon’s prayers may be answered before the end of the year.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Utah Democrats are blasting Republicans for not taking action to provide healthcare to low-income citizens. They held a press conference Tuesday saying a Medicaid expansion is long overdue.

Utah Republican leaders announced Friday that they have found consensus around a conceptual framework for Medicaid expansion.  A group of six state leaders have been meeting since the close of the legislative Session to find a resolution to the 'coverage gap' for low income residents. House Majority leader Jim Dunnigan says they now have the bare bones of a plan to cover the population up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

A coalition of Utah progressives, religious leaders, and advocates for the poor launched a campaign Wednesday to demand action on the healthcare coverage gap for low income citizens.

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.

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.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

It’s official, President Obama is finally coming to Utah. He’s expected to fly into Hill Air Force Base where he will give a speech on the economy. Utah is only one of two states that Mr. Obama has not yet visited as president. 

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. 

The legislature ended at midnight last night, and less than 6 hours later I’m on the road to get out of the state as quickly as possible. Coincidence? I’ll let you decide.

To recap the session, here’s a quick list of what the legislature did…and didn’t do.

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.

Brian Grimmett

For a bill to become law the Senate, the House, and the Governor all have to give their approval. But even with a Republican super-majority in the Utah legislature, that process often encounters obstacles.

401(k)2012 / Flickr Creative Commons

Competing House and Senate Medicaid expansion plans are now on the table, and that means state lawmakers have just four days to settle their differences on this major issue before the session ends.

Brian Grimmett

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

It only took 5 weeks, but the legislature has turned it up to 11 and has started to move through some important legislation at break neck speeds.

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.

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. 

Believe it or not, but we’ve made it past the half way mark of the 2015 legislative session. That means the real work can finally begin.

Courtesy photo

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

It’s the end of week three and we’re basically in the same spot we were at the end of week two.

Brian Grimmett

Legislators tasked with prioritizing social service budget items discussed two bills Wednesday that take different approaches on filling Utah’s Medicaid gap.

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.

Brian Grimmett

Utah State Lawmakers will be working through a long list of pressing issues in the next 45 days of the 2015 legislative session including Medicaid expansion, the relocation of the state prison and a state-wide anti-discrimination bill.

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.

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.

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.

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