Banner advertising for Medicaid in Utah

Media Contacts

Christopher Nelson

Email: chris.nelson@hsc.utah.edu
Phone: 801-581-7387

Feb 24, 2014 12:20 PM

University of Utah Health Care encourages the Governor and the State Legislature to pioneer a fiscally responsible solution unique to Utah. One that provides all Utahns with access to affordable health insurance — including those living at or below poverty.

The Problem

Utahns living in poverty — including working adults and students over age 26 — cannot afford health insurance. They forego preventive care, end up in ERs, and place a tremendous financial burden on Utah hospitals.

This cost is shifted to Utah businesses and citizens through higher insurance premiums.

Over the next 10 years Utahns will pay more than $6.4 billion for national Medicaid expansion— whether we like it or not.

We can opt out of Medicaid expansion, but we can’t opt out of paying federal taxes.

The Solution

University of Utah Health Care acknowledges
the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) is flawed— but the problem of paying for the uninsured is real.

We believe all Utahns should have access to affordable health insurance—including those living at or below poverty.

Not including Utahns living at or below 138% of poverty means all Utahns pay twice— through federal taxes and through cost shifting.

The Bottom Line

We encourage the Governor and the State Legislature
to pioneer a fiscally responsible solution unique to Utah.

What is 138% of Poverty?

For an individual – annual income less than $16,105 For a family of 4 – annual income less than $32,913 For a family of 6 – annual income less than $44,119

The Majority of People Living in Poverty Are

  • Childless

  • Between ages 18-34

  • Women

  • Employed

5 Reasons the University of Utah Supports a 138% Solution

  • Ensures independence in health care decisions

  • Ensures accessibility to health care coverage


  • Strengthens the private commercial market


  • Maintains employer sponsored coverage

  • Limits negative financial impact to the state