Prior returning to Utah from conferences in Washington, D.C., which included sit-downs with President Barack Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius, Governor Gary Herbert outlined more details of his discussions with the White House and some of the thinking that’s gone into the effort at expanding Medicare in Utah while he addressed the American Enterprise Institute.
Utah has a unique health care marketplace, due to Intermountain Healthcare on the provider side and its cousin, SelectHealth, on the insurer side of health care in the state. Both with roots in Utah’s history, there are clinics, hospitals, and medical centers throughout Utah and Idaho which provide exemplary care to hundreds of thousands of citizens and who also employ more than 32,000.
It’s been noted that a Utah decision to cover its most physically and financially vulnerable may be put off for months due to Utah’s House Republicans saying that they want more time to “study the issue.” Senator Brian Shiozawa’s (Republican – Cottonwood Heights) bill specifically designed to advance Herbert’s health care requests, SB 251, passed the Senate Monday morning.
With only four days left in the regular session, it appears increasingly doubtful that SB 251 will make it through the full legislative process in time to be placed on Herbert’s desk.
Governor Gary Herbert, who presently enjoys muscular approval ratings, may decide to act without a recalcitrant legislature offering its blessing. Here’s how the Governor plans to do it: