House Business and Labor Committee Passes Medicaid Expansion Repeal Bill
Legislators continue to advance efforts to repeal Proposition 3
February 6, 2019

Matt Slonaker

SALT LAKE— This afternoon the Utah State House Business and Labor committee passed SB 96, Senator Allen Christensen's Proposition 3 Medicaid expansion repeal bill with a 9-6 vote. Republicans Mike Winder, Craig Hall, and the bill's sponsor, James Dunnigan joined the committee's Democrats in voting against the bill.

During the hearing, there was an amendment from Rep. Dunnigan to eliminate the automatic expiration of the program if a waiver is denied. Even with this addition, the bill is still deeply flawed. At 70/30 federal/state match there would almost certainly not be enough money to continue Medicaid expansion if 70/30 continued. Senator Christensen even admitted during the hearing that expansion would continue only as long as funding is deemed sufficient. A yet-to-be-release revised fiscal note will inevitable show the gargantuan costs associated with the amendment as compared to Proposition 3. Therefore, funding with a 70/30 match is doomed to run out sooner rather than later.

Stacy Stanford, UHPP policy analyst responded to the vote, " Utahns voted to expand healthcare— not cut it. And they certainly didn't vote for a temporary "bridge" expansion that costs 3-times more. Expanding "until the money runs out" is not acceptable. Lives are at risk."

Stanford continued, "Utahns didn't vote for caps or delays or red tape. Utahns voted for full expansion. April 1st. No strings attached. No waivers. Voters got it right. Proposition 3 is a better way to approach Medicaid expansion. If there truly are cost concerns, then that is a conversation we can have. There are a variety of options to ensure long-term fiscal sustainability, without sacrificing access to care."

For more information:
Matt Slonaker, Executive Director

Stacy Stanford, Policy Analyst