Utah House passes controversial Medicaid Prop 3 replacement bill

    Utah House passes controversial Medicaid Prop 3 replacement bill. (Photo: KUTV)

    The Utah House of Representatives has passed a replacement bill for the voter-approved Proposition 3, expanding Medicaid.

    Senate Bill 96 now goes back to the other chamber for senators to concur, and if they do so, it would head to the governor's desk.

    The proposal by Republican lawmakers would cover fewer people than Prop 3 and add work requirements and spending caps. Leaders say those steps are essential to keep costs under control, although the plan would initially be tens of millions of dollars more expensive per year.

    Utah Decides Healthcare spokesperson Andrew Roberts made the following statement:

    This vote is a shocking display of disrespect for Utah voters. This bill eliminates coverage for tens-of-thousands of Utahns in need and leaves billions of our tax dollars in Washington. This is not what we voted for.

    Changes to SB 96 introduced on Friday also implement a backup plan in case a key component of the plan isn't approved: federal waivers.

    The bill calls for a waiver to cover people up to 100 percent of the federal poverty level with 70 percent federal funding and 30 percent state funding, with another waiver needed to increase the federal match to 90 percent. No other state has received such a waiver. Proposition 3 would cover people up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

    The automatic inflation adjustment for Medicaid providers is also scrapped in the newest version, saving $30 million per year. The work requirement remains. According to a bill summary, "if you earn $1 over the Medicaid limit, you are removed" under Prop 3, and in SB 96, people have "up to 12 month continuous eligibility, removing disincentive to make more income than Medicaid allows."

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