Medicaid is on the top of lawmakers list before session ends

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 UTAH) – Law makers are on the clock before the end of the 2014 legislative session.

Time is winding down for legislators to come up with a Medicaid deal that the governor can bring to the Presidents administration.

19 of 29 Senators passed S.B. 251, better known as the Medicaid Expansion Bill.

“This specifically addresses those 54,000 or more Utahns who find themselves in that uncomfortable position of being under the federal poverty line but not covered under the affordable care act,” said Sen Brian Shiozawa.

The crafted bill would offer the group a health care plan. It would also allow the governor to obtain waivers from the federal government.

“This is really a good step forward and addresses very population that needs the help and gets back those federal dollars that we are already paying to the federal government under the affordable care act,” Sen. Shiozawa added.

Other senators think the bar was set to low and leaves out more people then described.

“The legislator has a check for $432 million dollars in Washington that Utah taxpayers paid to Washington and the check is waiting,” said Sen. Jim Dabakis. “$432 million dollars, it is healthcare for 123,000 Utahns and we ripped it up and did away with it because of ideology.”

The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for further review.

“I hope that we have a good debate because I do think that it is a good common sense solution. It brings in a lot of the discussion items that the governor has put forth for our consideration. I think it needs to be vetted and considered,” said Rep. Rebecca Chavez- Houck.

Lawmakers on both side of the isle believe they can come up with a compromise by the end of session and have a Utah Medicaid bill that the governor can sign.

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