What Utah's Medicaid decision means for other states

Other states are watching how Medicaid expansion will play out in Utah after state lawmakers approved a Republican bill that would unwind parts of a voter-approved expansion, according to Health Affairs.

About 53 percent of Utah voters approved Proposition 3 in November 2018, which aimed to expand Medicaid to residents making up to 138 percent of the poverty line. However, Utah lawmakers passed legislation Feb. 8 that would draw back the expansion to people who make up to 100 percent of the poverty line, insuring about 50,000 fewer residents.

Under the bill, residents who earn more than the revised rate would be allowed to buy subsidized insurance on the federal exchanges. The bill requires a federal waiver, as under an Obama-era regulation, states can't partially expand Medicaid up to 100 percent of the federal poverty line.

Other states like Tennessee and Georgia are closely watching how Utah responds to Medicaid expansion. They may view the outcome as a potential road map for their Medicaid programs, according to Health Affairs. While both of the states have not expanded Medicaid under the ACA, they are mulling changes to their programs.

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