SALT LAKE CITY — The campaign supporting full Medicaid expansion will take another step forward this week with public meetings about the proposed ballot initiative.
Under state law, the Utah Decides Healthcare campaign must hold meetings in several areas around the state in advance of gathering petition signatures to get an initiative on the November 2018 ballot. The meetings will be:
Wednesday 4 p.m. Salt Lake City Library auditorium 210 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City
5 p.m. Price City Hall 185 E. Main, Price
4 p.m. Duchesne County Library 130 S. Center, Duchesne
5 p.m. Washington County Water Conservancy District 533 E. Waterworks Drive, St. George
6 p.m. Logan Library 255 N. Main, Logan
6 p.m. President Millard Fillmore Library 25 S. 100 West, Fillmore
6 p.m. Summit County Health Department, 650 Round Valley Drive, Park City
Supporters behind the initiative say raising sales tax in Utah from 4.7 percent to 4.85 percent can bring Medicaid to about 80,000 uninsured Utahns. Opponents of the measure say it's questionable whether such a move would be financially feasible for the state long term.
The campaign has said the sales tax increase will raise $91 million, which would draw down $800 million in matching funds from the federal government.2 comments on this story
In the years following a court ruling that states could decide whether or not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, Utah lawmakers ultimately opted against full expansion. A limited form of Medicaid expansion, benefitting several thousand of Utah's very poorest and most needy, was approved by lawmakers in 2016.
A ballot initiative application was submitted Oct. 2 to the lieutenant governor's office, which has 30 days to review the language of the initiative. Gathering signatures to put the initiative on the ballot cannot begin before approval from that office and the completion of public meetings.
Organizers will need to gather 113,000 signatures by April 15 — with specific thresholds in at least 26 of the state's 29 Senate districts — in order to move the initiative to the ballot.