Survey shows strong support for governor's Healthy Utah Plan

- SALT LAKE CITY, (ABC 4 Utah) – A new poll shows people in our state, from all walks of life overwhelmingly support Governor Gary Herbert’s Healthy Utah Plan when compared to other options on the table.

The governor believes the results validate his effort to ditch the one size fits all Washington approach, in favor of a tailored Utah solution.

An estimated 57,000 Utahns have no option for healthcare.

They fall into the doughnut hole created when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled full Medicaid expansion, under the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional and left it up to the states.

Healthy Utah is the governor’s solution to bridge that gap.

As lawmakers go back and fourth on the best way to do that, local advocacy groups sponsored a survey to find out what you think?

"The vast majority of Utahns support doing something. Which is, compared to two years ago when this debate started, it's huge progress," said Brook Carlisle with The American Cancer Society.

The Dan Jones and Associates survey asked 623 Utahns what they think about three options, Healthy Utah, full Medicaid expansion and no expansion at all.

88% prefer Healthy Utah over no expansion, 70% prefer it over full Medicaid expansion.

The shift in the two questions is from democrats who support full expansion.

It appears Utahns, especially republicans like that the plan emphasizes personal responsibility.

"From things like co-payments, paying premiums of the plan and using private insurance markets rather than Medicaid, the public insurance," said Jay Goodliffe, Chief Methodologist with Notalys.

Participants were also asked which option is in the best interest of the state if the feds reject Healthy Utah.

60% say the state should create a new Utah specific solution over full Medicaid expansion and no expansion.

The governor doesn't believe it will come to that.

He says all indications point to the feds signing off on Healthy Utah, but the legislature has to approve it too and there has been resistance.

House leaders don't want to accept federal funds, Utahns appear to differ.

72% of those surveyed say they support the use of federal funds for healthcare.

The governor thinks lawmakers will come around too.

"I think the legislature will look at what we've got, they may have some improvements, some modifications, that's okay. I just want to solve the problem," said Herbert, ( R ) Ut.

That problem is leaving thousands of Utahns in a compromising position.

"The concept of people having affordable care, access to care, that's critical for cancer patients," said Carlisle.

This survey did not compare Healthy Utah to ideas from the House and Senate, because technically there aren't any on the table right now.

However, Goodliffe says one out of BYU in March and April compared it to Speaker Lockhart's plan with similar results, a vast majority siding with Healthy Utah.

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