Gov. Herbert Addresses Medicaid Expansion

May 22, 2014

A report released yesterday by Families USA and Utah Health Policy Project shows how Medicaid expansion could cover approximately 140,000 working Utahns.

During his monthly press conference, Gov. Gary Herbert says he has not yet read the report but it is important not jump into something without knowing what it will do to the economy down the road.

“Is Medicaid expansion under the affordable care act going to continue to be a budget buster? Is the cost going to be something that states are going to have a hard time affording?” Herbert asked.

The Legislative Fiscal Office released the  $13.5 billion 2015 budget for Utah on Tuesday. Thirty-four percent-- $4.5 billion-- of the budget will be allocated to Medicaid.

“I understand the concerns people have with this expansion and I am trying to find a better alternative that is more fiscally responsible,” Herbert said.

Herbert has proposed an alternative to Medicaid expansion known as Healthy Utah in which Utahns can buy an affordable insurance.

The legislative office is currently weighing the options and Herbert says he optimistic that a resolution can still be reached this summer.