Senate HHS Committee Passes Medicaid Expansion Repeal Bill
On just the second day of the legislative session, Utah legislators ignore the will of the people and vote to proceed with repeal efforts
January 29, 2019

Matt Slonaker

SALT LAKE— This afternoon the Utah State Senate Health and Human Services committee passed SB 96, Senator Allen Christensen's Proposition 3 Medicaid expansion repeal bill on a party line 6-2 vote.

During the hearing, the bill was swapped out for a substitution with a number of changes. The committee members had only moments to review legislation that would repeal Proposition 3 and replace it with an 1115 waiver that would rely on federal approval, which is unlikely to ever come, while costing voters three times more than the expansion in Prop 3. Despite revisions and attempts to give legislators political cover by disguising the true impact of SB 96, it continues to repeals the intent of Proposition 3, to fully expand Medicaid by April 1, 2019.
Stacy Stanford, health policy analyst at UHPP, testified at the hearing. She said "We have been here before. Many times. For six years the legislature has debated this issue, and so we took it to the voters, and they resoundingly voted yes. More than half a million people. 53%, with an unprecedented turnout. We won by 69,220 votes. In 17 of 29 senate districts and 44 of 75 house districts. Voters knew what they were doing. They were informed. I spoke to thousands of them over the year. They knew that the waiver approach was on the table, and they voted against it."

Stacy added, "Utahns didn't vote for caps or delays or red tape. We voted for full expansion. With no strings attached and no waivers. Voters got it right. Proposition 3 is a better law.
 If there truly are cost concerns, then that is a conversation we can have. There are things we can look at to address future costs without cutting care."

For more information:
Matt Slonaker, Executive Director

Stacy Stanford, Policy Analyst