Utah Legislature approves Medicaid bare-bones expansion

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah lawmakers have approved a bare-bones Medicaid expansion plan that would insure mostly childless adults and those in some treatment and offender programs.

The plan comes after lawmakers have failed for several years to agree on a proposal to help more of the state’s poor get health insurance.

The proposal approved Tuesday night by Utah’s Senate would cover about 16,000 people and cost Utah about $30 million.

The federal government would kick in about $70 million to cover the rest, but the plan bypasses an offer under President Barack Obama’s health care law to bring in hundreds of millions more to cover tens of thousands of additional people.

Republicans in Utah’s House of Representatives have rejected that and several alternative Medicaid plans in the past, citing concerns that costs would balloon.

Gov. Gary Herbert is expected to approve the plan.

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