Medicaid

Health Care
5:31 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Utahns Rally for More Medicaid Coverage

Utah religious leaders stand by their letter asking Governor Gary Herbert to expand Medicaid in Utah.
Andrea Smardon

Utah Governor Gary Herbert received letters Wednesday from those encouraging him to expand Medicaid and provide health insurance to more low-income citizens in the state. Medical groups, religious groups, and advocates for the poor filled the rotunda at the capitol asking the Governor and their state representatives to rise above politics in making this decision.

On behalf of the Episcopal Diosese of Utah, Reverend Canon Mary June Nestler reads from a letter to Governor Herbert.

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Health Care
2:01 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Governor Herbert Looks Toward Middle Ground for Medicaid Expansion

File: Governor Gary Herbert
Utah Education Network

Governor Gary Herbert has still not made a decision about expanding Medicaid benefits, but at his monthly KUED news conference today he did shed some light on the decision making process.

For the past several months Governor Herbert has insisted that all options are still on the table when it comes to the expansion of Medicaid benefits, but his most recent comments suggest that he’s looking at finding some sort of middle ground.

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Health Care
3:56 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Why Some Utahns are Having Trouble Signing up for Medicaid

More than 4000 Utahns have been stalled in their efforts to get health insurance because federal and state computer systems are not yet able to communicate.  Officials from the state Department of Workforce Services say Utah was ready when the exchange went online October 1st, but the federal system was not.

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Health Care
2:00 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Non-Profits Join Forces to Advocate for Medicaid Expansion

Leaders of the Coalition for a Compassionate Utah gather outside of the Governor's Mansion
Brian Grimmett

A group of non-profit and advocacy organizations launched a new coalition today that is asking the governor to expand Medicaid benefits.

The new Coalition for a Compassionate Utah is made up of 11 non-profit and advocacy groups including Voices for Utah Children, the League of Women Voters, Equality Utah and the Alliance for a Better Utah. The Alliance’s Maryann Martindale says she believes the coalition brings a whole new set of voices to the governor’s attention that don’t typically get involved in health care advocacy.

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Health Care
3:53 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Governor Could Make Medicaid Expansion Decision By End of the Year

Governor Gary Herbert, R-UT, Volunteers at the Utah Food Bank
Brian Grimmett

Governor Gary Herbert says he’s getting closer to making a decision about Medicaid expansion in Utah, and that it could come by the end of the year.

Herbert says as he learns more about the impacts of expanding Medicaid benefits, it is becoming clearer what his decision will be. But, he wouldn’t yet rule out any of the options, or variations of options, that he’s been presented with.

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Health Care
9:35 pm
Sun September 15, 2013

Is Charity Care an Alternative to Expanding Medicaid in Utah?

Dr. Kurt Rifleman gives 6-year-old Jeremy Tarantino a check-up at Midtown Community Health Center in Ogden.
Andrea Smardon

As governor Gary Herbert weighs a decision on whether to extend Medicaid coverage to more low-income Utahns, a group of healthcare leaders appointed by the state has spent the summer exploring the options. Their findings will be presented to the governor at his health summit next week. Among those options, is to expand charity care in the state. KUER looks at what forms of charity care already exist in Utah, and whether this model could be a realistic alternative to expanding Medicaid.

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Health Care
4:15 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Herbert to Decide on Medicaid Expansion in 2014

Utah Governor Gary Herbert

Utah Governor Gary Herbert says he’ll likely make a decision on whether to expand Medicaid in the state by early next year. Utah is among a handful of states facing the decision as the Affordable Health Act rolls out this fall.  But the Governor told reporters at his monthly KUED news conference, he’s not in a hurry. 

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Health Care
4:48 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

BYU Professor Says State Budget is Only Small Part of Medicaid Decision

Utah lawmakers have another study to consider as they make their decision on whether to expand Medicaid in the state. The Utah Department of Health hired BYU Public Policy Professor Sven Wilson to produce an independent economic analysis. Dr. Wilson presented his findings to the state’s Medicaid community workgroup this week. He says state lawmakers are missing the big picture on Medicaid.

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Health Care
5:28 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Salt Lake County Council Approves Audit of Mental Health System

The Salt Lake County Council has unanimously approved an audit of its mental health care system.  The decision comes after Valley Mental Health announced it would no longer serve hundreds of patients due to a reduction in funding.

Salt Lake County Council Chairman Steve Debry says he and other council members learned that Valley Mental Health would be shrinking its patient rolls by reading the newspaper.

“We were caught off guard and by surprise. To put it mildly, we’re upset with it,” Debry says.  

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-KUER News Pod
12:00 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

KUER News Pod: Friday Juney 7 , 2013

Utah officials look to Arkansas for ideas on Medicaid expansion, a state lawmaker’s bill could take children away from murder suspects, and the Utah House of Representatives prepares themselves for the possibility of impeachment proceedings against Attorney General John Swallow.

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Health Care
4:59 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Utah Considers Arkansas’ “Private Option” for Medicaid Expansion

Utah officials are keeping a close eye on Arkansas as they consider whether to expand Medicaid in the state. The Utah Department of Health held an informational conference call Thursday with Arkansas’ Medicaid Director Andy Allison. Members of Utah’s Medicaid Expansion community workgroup see promise in Arkansas’ unique model. It gives eligible low-income residents Medicaid expansion dollars to buy private health insurance. 

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-KUER News Pod
2:52 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

KUER News Pod: Friday May 24, 2013

A long awaited report shows that Utah could save millions of dollars by expanding Medicaid, the Boy Scouts of America vote to include gay youth, and Latter-day Saints remember the life of Frances Monson.

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Health Care
6:35 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Report Details Costs and Benefits of Utah’s Medicaid Options

The state's Medicaid Expansion Options Community Workgroup convenes at the capitol.
Andrea Smardon

Utah could save millions of dollars and provide health insurance to about 123,000 people if the state expands Medicaid. That was the conclusion of an independent cost-benefit analysis commissioned by the state. 

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Health Care
4:24 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Utah Lawmakers Consider Partnership to Encourage Long-Term Care Insurance

Utah lawmakers are considering a bill that would encourage citizens to buy private long-term care insurance. More than 35 states already have this type of public-private partnership.   

Utah insurance broker Craig Oberle told the state Health and Human Services committee that people don’t like to think about long term care, and how much it might cost.

“We all know the baby boom generation and what’s happening, it’s an absolute tsunami that’s coming,” Oberle said.

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-KUER News Pod
11:53 am
Wed April 24, 2013

KUER News Pod: Wednesday April 24, 2013

The public turns out in droves to discuss the Sugar House Streetcar, Great Salt Lake Minerals is scaling back their expansion plans, and the Medicaid Community Workgroup meets at the capitol for the first time.

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Health Care
5:44 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Medicaid Expansion Community Workgroup Holds First Meeting

Medicaid Expansion Options Community Workgroup meets at the Utah State Capitol.
Andrea Smardon

A select group of healthcare providers, advocates, and community leaders met at the State Capitol Tuesday to discuss Medicaid, and the state’s pending decision on whether to expand the program to include more uninsured, low-income Utahns. Utah Department of Health Executive Director David Patton brought together about 20 people for the Medicaid workgroup.

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Health Care
5:30 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Utah Department of Health Declares Open Enrollment for PCN

The Utah Department of Health announced that it will allow open enrollment for its health coverage plan known as Primary Care Network or PCN.  The plan is designed to provide low income people and families with preventative care options, but there are many services it does not cover.

PCN has been closed to enrollment since March 2012, but enough funding currently exists to allow for open enrollment over the next three to four weeks.  Kolbi Young is a spokesperson for the Utah Department of Health.

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Health Care
9:56 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Lawmakers Set Course for Medicaid Decision

State Senator Todd Weiler (R-Woods Cross) introduced a substitute bill which does not prohibit the governor from expanding Medicaid.

Wednesday night, the Utah Senate guaranteed that Governor Gary Herbert will play a key role in deciding if the state will expand its Medicaid program. Lawmakers in both chambers approved  a substitute bill that now sets guidelines for how the Governor will make his decision.

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Health Care
4:45 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Ban on Medicaid Expansion Passes House

The Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act permits states to opt out of the law's Medicaid expansion, and that’s what Utah House lawmakers aim to do with House Bill 391. The bill would ban Utah’s governor and the Department of Health from expanding the Medicaid program. It passed the Utah House of Representatives this morning and now heads to the Senate where it faces opposition from leadership. 

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Politics
3:25 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Medicaid Battle Looming

Representatives Jacob Anderegg, Ken Ivory and Dana Layton address a news conference at Utah's state capitol.
Dan Bammes

  A battle could be shaping up in the Utah House of Representatives over a bill that would stop the state from expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. 

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Health Care
1:28 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Bill Advances to Stop Medicaid Expansion

A bill that would stop the state of Utah from expanding its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act passed a committee vote Wednesday evening.

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Health Care
3:19 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Supporters Rally for Medicaid Expansion

Supporters of Medicaid expansion rally at the Utah State Capitol
Dan Bammes

  Supporters of expanding Utah’s Medicaid program under the President’s health care plan don’t expect to see a decision during the legislative session.   But they came to Utah's state capitol Friday to make their point anyway.  

There were about a hundred people on the capitol steps for a rally in support of Medicaid expansion, but many more links in the paper chains they brought along.  Each of the 150-thousand links represents a Medicaid client in Utah – somebody like Stacey Stanford, who’s been in a wheelchair since a car accident in 2010.

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Politics
4:43 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Utah Democrats Push for Medicaid Expansion

State Representative Rebecca Chavez-Houck talks about her bill that would begin the process of expanding Medicaid in Utah. She and other members of the Democratic caucus are calling on Governor Gary Herbert to expand the program.
Credit Terry Gildea

Utah Democrats in the state legislature called on Governor Gary Herbert today to move forward with increasing Medicaid coverage. States have the option to expand their programs under the Affordable Care Act.  

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-KUER News Pod
3:56 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

KUER News Pod: Friday February 22, 2013

Utah Governor Gary Herbert addresses Medicaid expansion, guns, and the sequester at his monthly news conference, the Legislature debates a suicide prevention bill, and former Governor Jon Huntsman says he supports gay marriage.

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Politics
4:12 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Herbert: Medicaid Decision Delayed

Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert
pool photo

  Utah Governor Gary Herbert says a decision on expanding Utah's Medicaid program may have to wait until this summer.  Herbert told his monthly news conference on KUED Thursday morning that Utah won't follow the lead of any other state on the issue.

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Health Care
1:08 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

UDOH Cost/Benefit Report on Medicaid Expansion Delayed

The Utah Department of Health says that the privately contracted cost/benefit analysis of the optional Medicaid expansion is still not complete. The Social Services joint appropriations committee had planned to hear the report Tuesday morning.

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-KUER News Pod
11:42 am
Thu February 14, 2013

KUER News Pod: Thursday February 14, 2013

A new report says that Utah would benefit from Medicaid expansion, protests continue over Utah’s poor air quality, and Dixie State College is on it’s way to becoming a University.

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Health Care
5:06 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Report Shows Medicaid Expansion Would Create Jobs, Stimulate Utah Economy

A new report shows that Utah’s economy would benefit from an expansion of Medicaid, creating thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in economic activity. 

The report comes from the national nonprofit organization Families USA and Utah Health Policy Project.  UHPP Director Judi Hilman told KUER an expansion of Medicaid will allow millions of federal dollars to flow into Utah, stimulating the economy.

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Health Care
4:23 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Advocates Make the Case for Medicaid Expansion, Lawmakers Say it’s Governor’s Decision

Louis Fazio argues in favor of expanding Medicaid at a meeting of the Social Services Appropriations Subcommittee.
Andrea Smardon

Healthcare advocates converged on the Capitol Friday to encourage lawmakers to expand Medicaid to more low income residents, but state lawmakers held off on debate for now, and said the Governor will have to make the decision. 

Family physician Ray Ward kicked off the meeting of the Social Services Appropriations Subcommittee with an impassioned plea for the expansion of Medicaid to cover an estimated 145,000 more low-income Utahns.

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Politics
4:07 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

New Utah Senate President Calls For Fiscal Responsibility

Spectators watch as the Utah Senate begins the 60th Utah Legislative session
Brian Grimmett

Newly elected Utah Senate President Wayne Neiderhauser opened the 2013 Legislative session by urging senators to be fiscally responsible.

In his opening remarks Senate President Wayne Neiderhauser warned his fellow senators to be careful not to believe they can create money out of thin air as they go about tackling some of Utah’s tough budget issues. He says he hopes to see legislators pass laws that work in the long term, especially when it comes to education funding.

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