Over 40 Organizations Sign on to Letter in Support of Full Medicaid Expansion, as Utah Voters Decided

31 January 2019 Written by  

Utah Decided: Implement Full Medicaid Expansion without Delay

On November 6, 2018, Utah voters took an historic step, voting to expand Medicaid to adults and families across Utah through Proposition 3. We call upon our Legislature and Governor Herbert to ensure that full Medicaid expansion is implemented by the April 1st deadline, without any delays or restrictions to care. Proposition 3 will help thousands of Utahns access affordable health insurance and was carefully crafted by healthcare and policy experts to ensure it would deliver on its promises. As Utah voters, healthcare consumers, providers and stakeholders, we stand by the following principles as full Medicaid expansion moves forward in our state.

Utah Decided: Full Medicaid Expansion is Fiscally Responsible

Utah voters approved a small sales tax on non-food items to fund Medicaid expansion. Numerous reports and analyses confirm that this tax increase provides enough funding to implement Medicaid expansion immediately and in a fiscally responsible manner. By expanding Medicaid, Utah will bring home federal dollars that have been set aside for our state. In addition, expanding Medicaid will create new jobs and grow the Utah economy. The hypothetical concerns raised about increasing long-term state costs will need to be monitored as the full economic picture becomes clear; however, these can be addressed and resolved in the future without delaying implementation or fundamentally changing the law.

Utah Decided: Full Medicaid Expansion Promotes Work

Medicaid expansion will help thousands of hard-working, low-wage Utahns get the health coverage they need to improve their lives. People cannot work if they are not healthy. Once the full Medicaid expansion goes into effect, we will have a more seamless public health insurance system that no longer disincentives work by creating an eligibility cliff for individuals and parents.  We support helping all Utahns find stable and productive work.  Medicaid work requirements will increase government bureaucracy and add to the cost of administering the Medicaid program, but, as has been shown in states where work requirements have already been put into place, will do nothing to help unemployed Utahns find work. 

Utah Decided: Full Medicaid Expansion Drives Healthcare Innovation

Medicaid expansion will allow Utah to reduce healthcare costs through improved access to primary and preventive care for all and strengthen our behavioral and physical healthcare systems by reducing uncompensated care. Many states are already delivering better-coordinated behavioral health and primary care services as a result of expansion. Utah has a strong history of healthcare innovation and, with expansion, Utah can continue to develop more efficient ways to provide services, find collaborative solutions for our state’s opioid crisis, improve the quality of care provided, and find better ways to address social determinants of health. Full Medicaid expansion will facilitate improvements to our healthcare sector that support growth and innovation.

Utah Decided: Full Medicaid Expansion Supports Strong Families

Medicaid coverage improves access to needed care for parents and children. When parents have health insurance, children are more likely to also be insured. Health insurance coverage strengthens families’ financial security and helps families avoid medical debt. Families with access to affordable health coverage are more likely to get the care they need to reach their full potential and thrive, and parents have the peace of mind they need to provide for their family.

We, the undersigned organizations, respectfully ask that our leaders implement Proposition 3 as it was written, making only essential technical changes. Voters did not choose to add restrictions or caps that will only delay implementation. For the health and well-being of all Utah residents, we must fully expand Medicaid on April 1st so Utahns can get the care they need to work, take care of their families and succeed. 

Sincerely,

AARP Utah

Action Utah

American Academy of Pediatrics, Utah Chapter

American Heart Association

Association for Utah Community Health

Bear Lake Community Health Center

Better Utah

Catholic Community Services of Utah

Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City

Coalition of Religious Communities (CORC)

Comunidades Unidas

Crossroads Urban Center

Denials Management

Disability Law Center

Doctors for America

Epilepsy Foundation Utah

Equality Utah

Family Healthcare

FourPoints Health

International Rescue Committee

League of Women Voters of Utah

Legislative Coalition for People with Disabilities

Manufactured Housing Action

Midtown Community Health Center

NAMI Utah

The Children's Center

The Haven

The People’s Health Clinic

United Way of Salt Lake

Utah Academy of Family Physicians

Utah Chapter of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (UTSAM)

Utah Citizens' Counsel

Utah Democratic Healthcare Caucus

Utah Health Policy Project

Utah Housing Coalition

Utah Nurse Practitioners

Utah Nurses Association

Utah Partners for Health

Utah Statewide Independent Living Council

Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness (USARA)

Utahns Against Hunger

Voices for Utah Children

YWCA Utah

JessieJessie Mandle, Senior Health Policy Analyst, joined the organization in 2015. Prior to joining Voices for Utah Children, Jessie was a Senior Program Planner with the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Their Families, where she focused on nutrition and Out of School Time areas. Jessie also worked as a policy researcher in Johannesburg, South Africa and oversaw a CDC grant for Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services in Portland, Oregon. Most recently, she worked with the Utah Department of Health and the Utah Cancer Action Network. Jessie has a Master's degree in Public Heath from Portland State University and a B.A. in Government from Wesleyan University in Connecticut.