8 Reasons why Utah didn’t expand Medicaid to 138%

As a follow-up to UAHU’s Utah’s Medicaid expansion explanation some of you have wondered why Utah did not just adopt prop 3 as voted for.

Let’s take a look at 8 Reasons why Utah didn’t expand Medicaid to 138%

–       Outdated Numbers:  Prop 3 was written based on 2017 numbers and there were mistakes in the language.  The citizen initiative process requires that the language cannot be changed once signatures start being collected, even though no citizen initiative has ever been left unchanged.

–       Insufficient Funding: Prop 3 had a .15% sales tax increase.  This amount was not enough to cover the new medicaid expenses.  The legislative fiscal analyst office estimated that after the first year they would be $11million short, then $45million the following year. By the end of the third year it would be $65million short.

–       Provider Reimbursements: Prop 3 had a  2% year in year out reimbursement increase for Medicaid providers, which is not sustainable.

–       Unlimited Cost: Prop 3 had no cap on enrollees or costs. Utah constitution requires a balanced budget which without caps is impossible to maintain.

–       Insufficient Plans: Prop 3 enrolled those people in the 100-138% gap with low cost, $10 copay, no deductible plans though the Federal Exchange into inferior Medicaid plans. The federal subsidies match in the exchange is $400 million. Medicaid proponents have never acknowledge this number, constantly saying we are leaving $600 million on the table.

–       Inaccurate Marketing: A current ad targeting Representative Dunnigan and Senator Christensen is exaggerated and funded by out of state money. The claim that three VIVINT Smart Home Arenas could be covered by Medicaid if we expanded to 138% is overstated since many of the members are already insured in the private market and subsidized through the Federal Exchange.

–       Limited County Support: Prop 3 did not pass in 21 out of 29 counties. Legislators did not feel there was a mandate to leave it unchanged given this fact.

–       False Pretense for Support: Prop 3’s proponents collected signatures under false pretenses saying that children would finally be able to receive medical care. Utah Medicaid has always covered children under the current program.

Utah’s current expansion plan provides a way for all to be insured. In case you missed it, read a full review by our Legislative Team of the current expansion plans and options here