August 13th, 2018                                                         

Stacy Stanford | 801-718-6130
Medicaid Expansion Would Be a Boon for Utah’s Economy if Approved by Voters, New Study Says

A new economic analysis released by the Utah Health Policy Project today underscores how much Utah could gain if Proposition 3 passes this November.

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. It would also create and sustain thousands of jobs.

The economic impact study found the initiative would increase economic growth as a result of bringing home more than $800 million in federal funds each year from Washington, D.C..

When fully implemented in 2021, Utah will see the following economic impacts:

  • Workers and small business owners will see nearly $785 million in new income;
  • The Utah economy will grow by nearly $1.7 billion; and
  • The additional economic activity will improve the fiscal health of local, county, and state governments by generating more than $70 million annually in new tax revenues.

"As a Utah small business owner, I know a good deal when I see one. Prop 3 brings home over $800 million in funding back to Utah, resulting in $1.7 billion in economic impact, and provides healthcare for hardworking Utahns. With Medicaid expansion we can insure more people at less cost with greater economic benefit. As a business person, that is a bottom line I can be proud of." said Grace Ilott, with Ilott and Paint with Grace LLC.

“This analysis is consistent with now-available studies of actual human and economic impacts of Medicaid expansion in other states.” said Robert Huefner, retired, University of Utah, Matheson Presidential Chair in Health Care Policy and Administration. He also said, “The analyses find that Medicaid expansion reduces the number of uninsured citizens while coming close to, or exceeding, state financial break-even—while also improving the states’ economies, competitiveness, and health.”

Stacy Stanford, Health Policy Analyst for the Utah Health Policy Project said, “These new numbers reaffirm that Proposition 3 is the right choice for Utahns in November. Expanding Medicaid will bring $800 million of our federal taxes home from Washington DC every year. It means more health sector jobs, and hundreds of millions of dollars for Utah small businesses, all while helping our friends and neighbors get crucial healthcare for their families at same time.”
The economic activity generated by the injection of new federal dollars will also generate revenues for Utah’s local, county, and state governments. These new revenues are separate from the sales tax increase earmarked for the expansion and can be used to improve fiscal health of cities, counties, and the state—and/or could be used to provide vital services for Utahns. 
The newly released report modeled the impact of Proposition 3 using IMPLAN analytical software. The analysis was based on the State of Utah Medicaid Expansion Assessment Impact Analysis: 2014-2023 conducted by The Public Consulting Group (“PCG”) at the request of the Utah Department of Health in 2013. The Utah Health Policy Project, a local nonprofit, updated the numbers using data from 2017 Utah Medicaid and CHIP Annual Report.