New Report: Medicaid Expansion Would Create Nearly 14,000 Jobs

Study Also Finds that Working Utahns in Key Economic Sectors Would Gain Access to Health Insurance under Prop 3
October 17, 2018
Contact: Stacy Stanford

SALT LAKE—A new report released by Utah Health Policy Project (UHPP) today finds that Proposition 3 would create and sustain nearly 14,000 jobs in addition to delivering healthcare for 150,000 Utahns.

In August, UHPP released an initial economic impact study , which also found that Proposition 3 would create $1.7 billion in economic growth. The influx of about $800 million every year in federal funds under Proposition 3 would generate the economic stimulus, including the creation of new jobs.
Thirty-three other states have expanded Medicaid and are already receiving hundreds of millions of dollars back from the federal government.

“The choice before voters is simple. Are we going to bring our tax money home from Washington, D.C. to create jobs and help hard-working Utahns get healthcare or whether we are going to continue to watch our money go to other states to pay for their healthcare and to help their economies instead,” said Republican State Representative Ray Ward.

Under Proposition 3, Utah would receive nine dollars in federal funds for every dollar it spends.

“If someone offered most of us nine dollars if we would give them a dollar, that’s a deal most of us would take, and that’s the deal on the table right now for Utah,” said Stacy Stanford, Policy Analyst for UHPP. “We need our state to make a smart investment and bring our tax dollars home to Utah, where they belong."
“Right now, Utah families are hurting without access to life-saving healthcare, while hundreds of millions of dollars in uncompensated care is driving up the cost of health insurance for the rest of us. That needs to change.”

The UHPP study also highlighted the top ten industries in which Utah’s uninsured population currently work. Although these Utahns work in widely diverse jobs, they have one thing in common—they earn too much to qualify for existing Medicaid and not enough to afford health coverage.

Cedric Willis is one of the 150,000 Utahns who will benefit if Proposition 3 passes. “I work full-time at a food catering company. I’m grateful for this job because it makes sure I can pay my bills every month, but the income I earn makes me ineligible to continue receiving Medicaid. If Proposition 3 passes, I won't have to worry about insurance. For now, those concerns weigh on me because I have medical needs that require care.”

Proposition 3 would deliver life-saving healthcare to more than 150,000 Utahns, including parents and those with chronic illnesses. It would expand Medicaid to individuals earning less than $17,000 a year, or parents earning less than $34,000 per year for a family of four.
Proposition 3 would deliver healthcare for all 150,000 Utahns who need it. The ballot initiative also remains the only way to return $800 million a year back to Utah from Washington, D.C. Previous efforts by states to provide healthcare to only some of the families who need it require a federal waiver, and those waivers have been repeatedly rejected.