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Herbert: Delay Hasn't Hurt Medicaid Alternative

Brian Grimmett
Governor Gary Herbert (R-Utah)

  Governor Gary Herbert says he doesn’t think Utah’s long delay in coming up with an alternative to expanding Medicaid has hurt the prospect of a successful program.

The legislative session ended without action by lawmakers on any proposal for reaching those who aren’t covered by either Medicaid  or the Affordable Care Act.  Governor Herbert has proposed a program funded by block grants from the federal government to buy private health insurance for those people.  He says the Obama administration has indicated it will be flexible in working out a solution.

Herbert told reporters at his monthly news conference on KUED, “So there’s a growing understanding and awareness of the need, and a willingness to give us at least the flexibility they’ve given to other states and more. And they’ve also said to us, ‘We’re prepared to sit down with you and work with you towards finding success.'”

Indiana and Arkansas have proposals similar to the governor’s plan, and Herbert also believes the legislature will eventually sign on to it as well.

The governor hopes to have a detailed proposal ready to bring to the legislature sometime this summer.

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