Governor says special session may be needed on Medicaid expansion
Sanpei said after the closed-door debate among House Republicans that he heard nothing from Cox to change his mind.
"The lieutenant governor is a former member of the body. He is well-spoken. But I don't think he was very persuasive," Sanpei said.
He said while there are discussions about combining the various plans, "I'm not very optimistic."
Lockhart, who is seen as a possible challenger to Herbert in the 2016 gubernatorial election, said there is "a wide divide" between her plan and the governor's.
She said the House caucus "is closer to having a position" after their discussion. The speaker said "it's hard to tell at this point" whether lawmakers will be able to settle on a direction before the session ends.
Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund. R-Monroe, said it's "very possible" that lawmakers won't pass a Medicaid bill this session.
"If we work out something better after the session, we can always come back and do a special session," Okerlund said. "But the discussion will continue regardless, and work on it will continue regardless."
The Senate leader said the caucus had a "lively discussion for 45 minutes" after the governor and David Patton, executive director of the Utah Department of Health, spoke about the Healthy Utah plan but reached no conclusions.
"At this point, all the options are open," Okerlund said. "We have confidence the governor will continue to work with us in this process, and I think he left with the confidence that we're going to work with him."
Senate Budget Chairman Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, said he hasn't seen a bill for the governor's plan or how much it will cost. He said legislation would have to be drafted quickly so lawmakers could consider it before the session ends.
Meantime, both Shiozawa and Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, announced a meeting Thursday to hear personal health care stories from a dozen families impacted by the Medicaid decision.
"With many months of spreadsheets, budget talks, reports and studies, it is time to hear from the Utah people most affected by the decision," Shiozawa said.
Contributing: Dennis Romboy
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