FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 4, 2019
ALT LAKE— The Utah State Senate just passed SB 96, Senator Allen Christensen's Proposition 3 Medicaid expansion repeal bill with a vote of 22 to 7 on a mostly party line vote, with Senator Todd Weiler the only Republicans to oppose the measure.
Advocates will be holding a
press event today at 3:00
to discuss the reaction to this vote, and to display more than 500 messages and postcards from constituents who support Proposition 3's Medicaid expansion and oppose efforts to repeal the law.
Where: Utah State Capitol, main building, Hall of Governors (1st floor)
When: TODAY at 3:00 PM
Program will include Medicaid expansion advocates and a display of messages
SB 96 would repeal Proposition 3 and replace it with an 1115 waiver that would rely on federal approval, which is unlikely to ever come, without any backup plan in case of waiver denial. All the while costing voters more up front.
Matt Slonaker, executive director at Utah Health Policy Project responded to the vote, "
It is incredibly disappointing to see legislators vote against the will of the people and opt instead to gamble on the very unlikely approval of the Trump administration. If we don’t get a deal with Trump, the Christensen plan is dead in Utah. And, importantly, Medicaid expansion would be dead too. “
“The Christensen plan has no backup plan. I have never come across a good idea that doesn’t have a back-up plan." Slonaker continued, "Proposition 3 is a clean expansion, returning more of our taxpayer dollars and covering more people in need. There is no need to repeal it and replace it with such a complicated, uncertain plan. Let’s not gamble with the lives of Utahns."
Stacy Stanford, health policy analyst at UHPP added, "The people of Utah voted to raise their own taxes slightly in order to help their neighbors, while getting their money back from DC. They didn't vote for a plan that is more expensive and covers fewer people. It is absolutely unnecessary to make these kinds of changes in order to address sustainability. We can address cost concerns without resorting to waivers, caps, and cuts."