The recent Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act has brought the question of Medicaid expansion in Utah to the forefront of the state legislature.
Republican Sen. Brian Shiozawa said he and a group of five other officials have been meeting regularly to come up with a solution regarding Medicaid expansion, a solution that will work for Utah.
Shiozawa, who is also a medical doctor, said Medicaid expansion is vital for the state.
“We have over a hundred thousand patients, who would be beneficiaries of this, who come to the ER,” Shiozawa said. “It’s their only source of care because they can’t get in anywhere else, and we as citizens and as taxpayers already pay for their care when they can’t. Most of them can’t afford it, and these bills are just huge.”
Republican Rep. Edward Redd said he wants to keep Utahns healthy. He said many are put in a position where the only way they can pay for care is by quitting their job and taking disability.
“Which I think is a really horrible situation,” Redd said. “Most people that I take care of that are on disability because of their medical problems would prefer to work.”
Democrat Sen. Luz Escamilla said she would ideally like to see full Medicaid expansion, but she said the state legislature is unlikely to vote for it. She said she would have to review any compromise before voting for it.