As state legislators try to decide what to do about the 60,000 Utahns who fall into the Medicaid gap, there remain plenty of unanswered questions regarding health care reform.
There are currently three proposed health care plans in Utah. The House, Senate and Governor all are presenting separate plans.
The House’s Plan:
The House plan is being presented by Speaker of the House Becky Lockhart as House Bill 401. The reform by only using state dollars to cover the Medicaid gap.
The Senate’s Plan:
Senate Bill 251, which is sponsored by Sen. Brian Shiozowa, is a partial expansion and private-option plan. This means it would subsidize health care coverage through employer-sponsored insurance, private insurance and Medicaid Accountable Care Organizations.
The proposed bill would cover anybody who is under the poverty level which means any individual making less than $11,500 per year. By 2020, it is estimated to cover 54,000 Utahns.
Under this plan, Utah would have to ask the federal government to help cover 90 percent of the cost, while the state would cover the rest. This is opposed to the current system in which the national government covers 70 percent of Medicaid.
However, the Utah Health Policy Project, which supports the governor’s bill, is fearful that the federal government would pull it's funding down the road.