How Healthy Utah Would Benefit Taxpayers and the Utah Economy

19 November 2014 Published in What's New?


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Governor Herbert’s Healthy Utah plan is a three-year pilot program that would help 111,000 low-income Utahns to get private health insurance coverage, including 57,000 adults in the coverage gap—people whose incomes are too low to qualify for the tax credits that help wealthier people afford health insurance, yet they do not qualify for Medicaid.

economyHealthy Utah would benefit Utah taxpayers and the Utah economy.

The federal funds for the Healthy Utah plan have been set aside to help poor people get affordable health coverage. If the State Legislature turns the money down, the money will be spent in other states. In Utah, we are currently losing about $770,000/day.

  • A state report estimated that bringing these federal tax dollars back to Utah would bring as much as $300 million in economic benefits to Utah during the first three years of implementation and create 1,000-2,000 new health care jobs to Utah.
  • When more Utahns have health insurance, they will be able to access preventive care, reducing the need for expensive emergency room care that results in higher health insurance premiums for everyone.
  • The Healthy Utah plan would save the Utah correction system and county governments millions of dollars in hospitalization and behavioral health costs.

Media: How Healthy Utah Would Benefit Taxpayers and the Utah Economy

 Healthy Utah is the better choice featured image

Better than Alternatives

An economic analysis compared the Healthy Utah to an alternative proposal, Utah Cares, and found that Utah Cares would cover fewer people with fewer services at greater cost to the state.

Expanding Utah’s Health Insurance Options: An Economic Analysis of Benefits, Costs and Risks


Benefits Outweigh Costs

Economist Sven Wilson testified before the Utah Legislature's Health Care Reform Task Force that the economic benefits of the Healthy Utah plan far outweigh the costs. In fact, the answer to whether Utah should adopt the Healthy Utah plan, from an economic perspective, was so "painfully obvious" it made for a "really boring policy analysis problem."

The (Not) Complex Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Healthy Utah Plan

Lower Healthcare Costs

As an alternative to Medicaid expansion, the Healthy Utah plan would be funded with federal dollars set aside for Medicaid expansion. This video by University of Utah Health Care explains why it is important to bring these federal dollars back to Utah and why having lots of uninsured people makes healthcare more expensive to everyone.

Why does University of Utah Health Care support Gov. Herbert's plan to provide all Utahns with access to affordable health insurance?

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Local Tax Relief

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and Councilpersons Sam Granato and Aimee Winder Newton explain how Healthy Utah will save local taxpayer dollars.

Deseret News Op-ed: Healthy Utah plan ensures Utahns' tax dollars serve health care needs
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Invests in Private Market

Representative Craig Powell of Heber discusses the economic benefits of the Healthy Utah plan for all Utah citizens and how it differs from traditional Medicaid expansion.

Park Record Op-ed: It's time to expand health care insurance in Utah

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Helps Charities

Alan Pruhs, Executive Director of the Association for Utah Community Health, explains how accepting Medicaid expansion dollars would help Utah's community health centers serve low-income people.  He rebuts the notion that Utah charity care providers can handle Utah's uninsured population without the help of Medicaid expansion dollars that could be gleaned through the Healthy Utah plan.

Salt Lake Tribune Op-ed: Health centers can't replace Medicaid expansion


Boosts Utah Economy

Commissioned by Voices for Utah Children, BYU economist Sven Wilson completed an economic analysis of the Healthy Utah plan, concluding that "the economic case for moving forward with Healthy Utah at this time is compelling." 

New Economic Analysis: Healthy Utah Will Strengthen State’s Economy


Brings Taxpayers' Money Back to Utah

Healthy Utah will not increase Utahns’ federal tax burden. If Utah does not pass Healthy Utah or expand Medicaid, our federal tax dollars will simply go to other states instead of benefiting Utah citizens.

Setting the Record Straight: 5 Reasons to Support the Governor’s Healthy Utah Plan


Learn about how the Healthy Utah plan would help low-income, working families with children.

Contact your lawmakers.

Support Utah families. Support Healthy Utah. Email Lawmakers.

Governor Herbert cannot accept federal funds for the Healthy Utah plan without the approval of the Utah Legislature.

Instead of Healthy Utah, some lawmakers have suggested:

  • Doing nothing. 
    While the government would continue to help wealthier Utahns get health insurance through tax credits, poor Utahns who do not qualify for Medicaid would get no help at all.

Click here for a simple form to help you email your local lawmakers.