More than 4,800 public comments submitted on Utah's proposed "Fallback Plan" Medicaid changes
Concerns focused on work reporting requirements, increased cost sharing, and enrollment caps, among other proposals
December 9, 2019

Stacy Stanford

SALT LAKE— Utahns are speaking out against proposed Medicaid changes, overwhelmingly disapproving of enrollment caps, work reporting requirements, increased emergency room penalties, and added premiums. Individuals and advocacy organizations submitted more than 4,800 public comments on the " Fallback Plan ", the latest phase of the Utah legislature's SB96 replacement of Proposition 3's Medicaid expansion, before this weekend's deadline.

This proposal would finally fully expand Medicaid to increase eligibility up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level, and requests innovative ways of addressing housing issues among the Targeted Adult Medicaid population.

Unfortunately, it would also add a work reporting requirement, an enrollment cap, and added out-of-pocket cost barriers to Medicaid. These harmful requests are ways to limit the Medicaid program, locking otherwise-eligible low-income enrollees out of coverage. Public comments are an important part of the 1115 waiver process, and have been used in states like Arkansas and Kentucky to overturn work reporting requirements.

"The public outcry against harmful Medicaid changes has been overwhelming. Utahns clearly understand how punitive and dangerous these proposals would be for our low-income neighbors, especially the most marginalized," said Stacy Stanford, Health Policy Analyst for Utah Health Policy Project. " Voters outlined a clean, straightforward Medicaid expansion through Proposition 3. Instead, SB96 has led to confusion, delays and red-tape restrictions, which are unnecessary barriers to care."

“We hope Utah can move forward with full expansion quickly without any barriers to coverage or additional red tape," added Jessie Mandle, Senior Health Policy Analyst at Voices for Utah Children.

"It is clear that the public shares our disappointment with the State of Utah for continuing to put forward unlawful ideas that are more concerned with dollar signs than the health coverage of Utahns, including many with disabilities. We look forward to a day when Utah fully expands Medicaid without barriers," said Nate Crippes, Staff Attorney with the Disability Law Center.
For more information contact:

Stacy Stanford, Policy Analyst
Utah Health Policy Project

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