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The state has received more than 130 comments on its plan to extend Medicaid to fewer than 16,000 Utahns and many of those commenters are still calling for full-scale expansion.
After years of debate and protests over Medicaid expansion, the Legislature this year passed and the governor signed a small-scale plan. Initially estimated to expand coverage to about 16,000 people, the current proposal would cover only about 9,000 to 11,000 of the poorest Utahns.
The plan targets childless adults who are chronically homeless, involved in the justice system or in need of mental-health or substance-abuse treatment.
It also expands coverage to low-income parents with dependent children previously not covered by Medicaid.
Kolbi Young, a department spokeswoman, said officials now will review the comments for "common, emerging themes and then write a report responding to those themes." A report with an overview of the comments and responses to them will be available by June 24 and posted online.
Many of the comments supported full-scale expansion, Young said, adding that "more constructive" suggestions or questions about the current proposal "were in the minority."
Once the comments are processed, Young said, officials will meet to talk through any modifications to the proposal prior to submitting it to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for approval.
The department's goal is to submit the waiver to the feds by July 1, hoping to begin enrollment Jan. 1, 2017.