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Utah faith leaders call on Herbert to expand Medicaid

First Published      Last Updated Nov 18 2013 11:51 am

More than 100 religious leaders signed an open letter to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, urging him to expand Medicaid to provide health coverage for vulnerable residents.

The letter, published Sunday in a full-page ad in The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News, argued that "expanding Medicaid in Utah could ultimately assist 123,586 adults who would otherwise be uninsured. Providing this assistance would ensure that thousands of Utahns have access to preventative care and are able to receive medical attention before their situation becomes catastrophic."

It was signed by Catholic and mainline Protestant clergy and lay leaders and paid for by the Episcopal Diocese of Utah, according to Bill Tibbitts, associate director of Crossroads Urban Center.

Some of the faith leaders, Tibbitts wrote in an email, "will be reading it at the rally for Medicaid expansion at the Capitol on Wednesday, Nov. 20."

Herbert has yet to say whether he plans to have Utah expand Medicaid, as allowed under the Affordable Care Act.

Peggy Fletcher Stack