2016 Bills

HB 302: Expanding Medicaid in Utah

This bill was not considered by the legislature.

Libertas Institute opposes this bill.

We have written extensively (here, here, and here) about the problems associated with expanding the Medicaid program in Utah under the Affordable Care Act. Last year there was a lot of political attention on Governor Gary Herbert’s “Healthy Utah” proposal to expand Medicaid and all its various iterations. We favor a free market solution to this issue.

Unsurprisingly, Medicaid expansion proposals are back again this year. House Bill 302, sponsored by Representative Ray Ward, proposes to expand the Medicaid program in Utah to all those under 138% of the Federal Poverty Limit (FPL). This matches the expansion eligibility proposed under the Affordable Care Act. However, the bill does propose to make some changes from the requirements under Obamacare and seeks waivers for Utah to customize the approach similarly to ideas discussed in the previous “Healthy Utah” plan.

While we commend Representative Ward’s bravery in attempting to tackle the mess created under Obamacare despite the failure of last year’s proposal, the best solution to many of these health care and health insurance issues are for the government to get out of the way and reduce regulatory barriers to free market solutions.