Bill To Replace Proposition 3 Medicaid Expansion Passes Senate, Causes Controversy

Feb 4, 2019, 9:14 PM | Updated: Feb 5, 2019, 12:13 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Senate Bill 96, which promises to bring Medicaid expansion in Utah, with the help of more federal dollars, passed through the state senate Monday. Bill sponsor, Republican Senator Allen Christensen, of North Ogden, says Proposition 3 as is, would bring too much expense to the state budget.

“They’re not obligated to balance the budget, we are,” Christensen said, in a press conference. “We’re going to implement Medicaid expansion in a fiscally reasonable way, where the public, Proposition 3 did not provide for adequate funding of what it asked for.”

From left, Senator Allen Christensen (R), Senate President Stuart (R), Luz Escamilla (D), and Majority Whip Daniel Hemmert (R), answer media questions after a senate vote on SB 96.

Christensen says his bill would bring an annual savings of around $87 million, while Proposition 3 as it stands would bring about $74 million in expenses. Medicaid expansion would at first get funding temporary from the state, depending later upon waivers to draw in more federal dollars to fill in the gaps. Discussion over the bill drew heated debate in the Senate chambers Monday morning.

“The problem is the voters didn’t have all the information, because the Prop 3 didn’t provide all the information,” Republican Senator Jacob Anderegg, of Lehi, said.

“We’re going to spend $71 million dollars, what? To turn our back on the voting public?!” Democratic Senator Gene Davis, of Salt Lake City, later responded. “They have assurance that that’s (the waivers) going to happen, but I haven’t heard a name of who has assured this! Who said it’s going to happen? It hasn’t happened for any state yet.”

Christensen said unlike past attempts to get similar federal waivers, he feels the proper research has been done, and they are more likely to get passed this time.

“They (the taxpayers) wanted a tax increase, they wanted Medicaid expansion, and that’s what we’re doing,” Christensen said. “They didn’t fill in the proper blanks. We are filling in those blanks for them.”

SB 96 also includes a provision, that if the waivers do not get approved, the Medicaid expansion would not happen, however, Senate President Stuart Adams added that the state legislature will be back in session well before bridge funding for Medicaid expansion runs out, giving them time to find another solution.

Matthew Slonaker, with the Utah Health Policy Project

Matthew Slonaker, with the Utah Health Policy Project, told the media in an afternoon press conference that work requirements, and a per capita limit for Medicaid recipients, as outlined in SB 96, would exclude too many people.

“The voters didn’t vote on work requirements,” Slonaker said. “They did not vote on pursuing waivers, that have gotten us nowhere for six years.”

Senate Bill 96 is now headed for the house.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, and Glenn Wright shake hands after debating in the 3rd Congressional Dist...
Dennis Romboy, Deseret News & Lad Egan, KSL TV

Utah congressional debate between John Curtis, Glenn Wright highlights differences

Republican Rep. John Curtis and Democratic challenger Glenn Wright engaged in a low-key debate Thursday.
1 day ago
Hunter Biden leaves Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Johns Island, South Carolina, on August 13. Fede...
Evan Perez, Kara Scannell and Paul LeBlanc, CNN

Federal prosecutors weighing charges on two fronts in Hunter Biden investigation

Federal prosecutors believe they could charge Hunter Biden with tax crimes and a false statement but a final decision still has not yet been made.
1 day ago
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the American Freedom Tour at the Austin Convention...
Kaitlan Collins, Katelyn Polantz and Tierney Sneed, CNN

Justice Department insists to Trump’s attorneys that he return all documents marked classified

Justice Department officials have demanded in recent weeks to former President Donald Trump's attorneys that he return any outstanding documents marked as classified.
1 day ago
Former Utah GOP Chairman Thomas Wright takes notes during a Utah gubernatorial Republican primary d...
Dennis Romboy, Deseret News

Who’s in — and is anyone out — for congressional, Senate debates ahead of midterm election?

Utah is expecting five debates in October for the upcoming races.
1 day ago
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the federal government's response to Hurricane Ian in the R...
Zeke Miller, AP White House Correspondent

Biden pardons thousands for ‘simple possession’ of marijuana

Biden pardons thousands with federal convictions for 'simple possession' of marijuana, calls for states to follow suit.
1 day ago
Ladd Egan

‘The Dignity Index’ launches pilot program in Utah to score messaging from candidates

A new project in Utah is trying to encourage political candidates to use more dignity and get rid of contempt by scoring the words and messaging they use.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Bill To Replace Proposition 3 Medicaid Expansion Passes Senate, Causes Controversy