Utah cancels partial Medicaid request after expansion passes

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Gov. Gary Herbert is surrounded by state representatives in the Gold Room of the Utah Capitol on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, as he sign HB472, Medicaid Expansion Revisions, which would extend Medicaid coverage to an additional 60,000 Utahns below the poverty line — pending approval from the federal government.

Utah officials are asking the federal government to cancel their request for a limited Medicaid expansion with a work requirement after voters approved a full expansion.

Utah Department of Health spokeswoman Kolbi Young says the state has asked federal Medicaid officials to indefinitely suspend consideration of the plan passed by Utah lawmakers earlier this year. Utah’s plan needed a waiver because it has a work requirement and is more limited than the expansion specified by then-President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.

Utah voters approved the ballot measure last week after majority Republican lawmakers repeatedly rejected the idea over concerns that its costs would force cuts to other services. The initiative will provide health care coverage to an estimated 150,000 low-income Utah residents. It includes a sales tax increase.