Utah Officials: Administration Rejecting Medicaid Proposal
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Officials say Utah’s planned request for more federal funding for expanding its Medicaid program is being rejected by President Donald Trump administration.
A statement released Saturday by Gov. Gary R. Herbert and top legislative leaders said the White House told Utah officials late Friday that the waiver request awaiting formal submission wouldn’t be approved.
The statement said expressed disappointment but says the move doesn’t change the state’s April expansion of Medicaid coverage to additional low-income residents but instead dealt with the state’s desire for the federal government to cover a larger share of the costs.
Gov. Gary R. Herbert, Senate President Stuart Adams, and House Speaker Brad Wilson released the following statement regarding Utah’s anticipated Medicaid waiver request:
Late Friday the State of Utah received a call from the White House informing state leaders that its most recent Medicaid waiver request, which had yet to be formally submitted, would not be approved.
On April 1, 2019, phase one of S.B. 96, Medicaid Expansion Adjustments, expanded Medicaid coverage to Utahns living within 0-100 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), funded at a 70/30 federal/state match rate. Those living between 100-138 percent of the FPL are currently covered through the exchange. The waiver in question represented phase two of the four phase process set in motion by S.B. 96 and would have transitioned funding to an enhanced 90/10 federal/state match rate.
While we are deeply disappointed by this latest development, we would like to reassure Utahns currently relying on Medicaid under the new expansion that they are still covered under the expansion that was activated on April 1, 2019. S.B. 96 funded medical coverage through June 30, 2020. We contemplated possible scenarios like this one, and S.B. 96 ensures the program moves forward as we navigate the complicated federal rules and regulations involved in Medicaid.
We will continue to work closely with the Administration to ensure that Medicaid expansion is carried out in a way that provides coverage for Utahns in need without creating an unsustainable financial burden on Utah taxpayers.
We remain committed to working together to find solutions to Medicaid expansion under the process set forth in S.B. 96. In the coming days and weeks, the governor and legislature will work in close partnership to evaluate the current situation to ensure Utah continues to provide a Medicaid program with long-term fiscal sustainability. We will share information with the public as new developments unfold.
Utah lawmakers earlier this year voters scaled back the Medicaid expansion approved by voters in November.
Lawmakers angered advocates by reducing how many people would be covered. Lawmakers also added spending caps and work requirements.
Contributing: KSL TV Digital
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