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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.