Washington DC — Yesterday, Utah Republicans and the governor signed into law legislation limiting the expansion of the state’s Medicaid program, overturning a ballot measure voters approved in November to expand Medicaid. Under this new law, the state will ask the Trump administration to accept severe restrictions on Medicaid while insuring roughly 60,000 fewer Utahns. Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement in response:

“Utah Republicans are defying the will of the same voters who put them in office by overturning the Medicaid ballot measure. And the Trump administration is egging them on. Unfortunately, that’s no surprise — it’s just the latest part of the repeal-and-sabotage agenda led by President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress. It’s time for Republicans to stop undermining Medicaid, pushing junk insurance plans and suing in federal court to “terminate” the entire law, and start lowering costs and protecting the millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions.”

BACKGROUND:

Associated Press: Republican-controlled Utah Defies Voters, Rolls Back Medicaid Expansion. “Utah passed sweeping changes to a voter-approved Medicaid expansion Monday, cutting the number of people covered nearly in half and adding work requirements that the Trump administration is expected to approve…It’s drawn vocal protest from advocates who say the changes go further than any of the four other conservative-leaning states where voters expanded Medicaid after state lawmakers refused. ‘This is a dark day for democracy in Utah,’ said Andrew Roberts, a spokesman for the group Utah Decides. ‘State legislators turned their backs on voters and on families in need.’ Lawmakers’ plan would extend Medicaid coverage to an additional 80,000 people, just over half of those that would have been covered under the ballot measure that voters passed in November, Republican Sen. Dan Hemmert said.” [Associated Press, 2/11/19]

Politico: Utah Plan Means Insuring “About 60,000 Fewer People Than The Obamacare Expansion Would Have And Initially Costing The State Tens Of Millions Of Dollars More. “Utah Gov. Gary Herbert on Monday signed legislation adopting a limited expansion of the state’s Medicaid program, defying voters who in November approved the full Obamacare program through the ballot. Under the new GOP-written plan, Utah will ask the Trump administration for permission to implement unprecedented restrictions on the health coverage program for the poor, while insuring about 60,000 fewer people than the Obamacare expansion would have and initially costing the state tens of millions of dollars more.” [Politico, 2/11/19]