Plan to limit Medicaid expansion estimated at $72 million

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A state analysis shows Utah lawmakers’ plan to reduce the number of people covered by a voter-passed Medicaid expansion could cost nearly $72 million before expected savings begin.

The state would initially pay more money to cover fewer people because lawmakers’ scaled-back version doesn’t qualify for increased federal money under President Barack Obama’s signature health-care care law.

Utah lawmakers say the state can’t afford full expansion and their plan will save hundreds of millions of dollars over the long run.

They’re confident the state will get a first-of-its-kind waiver from the Trump administration to get the increased federal dollars anyway.

The cost estimates released Saturday in infuriated activists. Utah Decides Healthcare spokesman Andrew Roberts says lawmakers are trying to cut a backroom deal to overturn the law passed by the voters.

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