Kris Fawson, of the Legislative Coalition for People With Disabilities, said a lot of people are “caught in the middle” of existing eligibility requirements.
“These are people trying to work, trying to support themselves,” she said. “The expansion would help them get the coverage they need.”
Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, D-Salt Lake City, also proposed a bill in support of Medicaid expansion. HB153, however, was held for further study, as committee members agreed information from the health department study would lead to better public policy.
She said Medicaid expansion would be a “game-changer to the criminal justice system in Utah,” as many inmates are uninsured and can’t get mental health counseling they need to be successful and stay out of jails.
HB153 proposes a savings to the state general and education funds of more than $5.9 million in the first year and nearly triple that in 2015. Anderegg said the fiscal note on the bill represented “slight disingenuous accounting.”
Regardless of committee action, or the fact that many Utahns want out of the Affordable Care Act, Rep. Johnny Anderson, R-Taylorsville, said, “the Supreme Court has ruled it constitutional.”
“I hope folks recognize, the battle is lost. This is the law of the land. We need to figure out how to deal with it in our state,” he said.
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