Plan to scale back Utah Medicaid expansion passes final vote

Ellie Brownstein, left, who is in opposition to SB96 and Wiz Rouzard with Americans for Prosperity in favor of SB96 debate for and against in front of the Utah House chamber, Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, in Salt Lake City. Utah lawmakers' plan to scale back a voter-approved Medicaid expansion has passed a key vote despite protests from advocates who say it guts a plan the majority of voters want. (Leah Hogsten/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah lawmakers’ contentious plan to scale back a voter-approved Medicaid expansion is headed to the governor’s desk.

The Utah Senate voted 22-7 on Monday to approve the proposal that would extend Medicaid to about 50,000 fewer people than the ballot measure.

GOP lawmakers say their plan will cover the state’s neediest while preventing costs from spiraling out of control. Health-care advocates, though, say it reduces access to needed health care and undermines the vote.

It expands Medicaid to cover people making up to 100 percent of the poverty line; those who make more than that can buy subsidized insurance on the federal health care exchanges.

The plan requires waivers from the federal government, and it they don’t come through the measure would revert back to much of the voter-approved proposal.

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