Washington • Utah Gov. Gary Herbert says within 30 days he hopes to gain federal agreement on the most controversial part of his alternative plan to expand Medicaid in the state the work requirement for able-bodied adults and that new Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell is receptive to the pilot program.
Herbert met Friday with Burwell to pitch his plan, which seeks a private-sector approach to covering those Utahns who don't qualify for Medicaid but can't afford their own insurance without government help. The governor says his team which has met weekly with HHS staff has reached agreement on 27 of the 35 points in the "Healthy Utah" plan and that the rest should fall into place by the end of August.
Burwell "seems to be very willing to give us maximum flexibility," Herbert said in an interview. "She says we're willing to use this as a demonstration project, as a pilot program which is what I've proposed to test theories, to see if there are other, better ways to help those who are the poor and working poor among us. She seems to be very receptive to what our proposal is in concept."