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Advocates Submit Medicaid Expansion Ballot Initiative At Capitol

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Erik Neumann / KUER
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Ballot initiative supporters filed their proposal with the Lieutinant Governor's office on Monday.

Sponsors of the Utah Decides Healthcare ballot initiative submitted their bill language to the Lieutenant Governor’s office on Monday. The initiative would put Medicaid expansion up to voters in 2018.

Initiative sponsors described it as a “clean Medicaid expansion.”

It’s designed to expand health coverage to people in the so-called “coverage gap”. That means individuals who don’t make enough money to buy insurance on their own but make too much to qualify for low-income healthcare. Here in Utah, that’s about 120,000 people.  

With Medicaid, states and the federal government each pay a share. With this proposal Utah would pay $91 million per year. In return the federal government would contribute $804 million.

The state’s portion would come from a .15 percent sales tax increase, not including food purchases.

The group will need to gather approximately 113,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot next year.  

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