A bill approved Friday by the Senate Health Committee would establish a task force to study health-care access for the 250,000 Utahns who are either uninsurable, uninsured or underinsured.

Sponsor Sen. John Holmgren, R-Bear River City, said the task force would particularly focus on the medical access for the "working poor." Holmgren said the panel's charge would be to develop a statewide plan to provide health care coverage for all Utahns.Dr. Suzanne Dandoy, executive director of the Utah Department of Health, said she believes the department could obtain federal money to fund 50 percent of the task force's activities.

"We believe this is one of the most important health issues facing the state," she said.

The proposed membership of the task force, which would include eight legislators, stirred concern among advocates for senior citizens, large employers and low-income people who attended Friday's committee meeting.