The grassroots initiative to enact Medicaid expansion in Utah appears to have enough signatures to appear on the November ballot, according to the latest count.
Supporters needed to gather a requisite number of signatures in 26 of 29 state Senate districts and a total of 113,143 statewide. As of Friday, the signature count had met the 26-district threshold and surpassed 139,500 for the state as a whole.
The numbers still require certification by the lieutenant governor’s office later this month.
“They’re still validating signatures, but at this point we met the minimum requirement to make it on the ballot in 2018,” organizer RyLee Curtis said Friday.
The ballot initiative would extend Medicaid coverage to people who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line – about $16,700 per person, or $34,000 for a family of four. Organizers say 150,000 Utah adults would gain Medicaid coverage under the initiative and the state would receive $800 million in federal money.
A similar ballot initiative in Idaho also appears to have met that state’s signature requirements.
The Utah initiative represents full expansion compared to a bill passed by the Legislature, HB472, that would extend coverage to an estimated 72,000 low income Utahns. That measure would require a federal waiver before it could be implemented because it only insures people up to the poverty line. It also contains work requirements, enrollment caps and a provision that pulls the plug on the program if federal funds ever fall below paying 90 percent of the cost.