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Gov. Herbert Talks Medicaid With HHS Secretary
In Washington, D.C, the Department of Health and Human Services met with Utah e;ected leaders to work out a deal to expand the state's Medicaid.

Gov. Gary Herbert, Utah Senate President Wayne Niederhauser and state House Speaker Greg Hughes were in Washington, D.C., for a meeting with Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell on Wednesday. The topic of discussion: Medicaid expansion for Utah.

The 2015 state legislative session ended in a stalemate over the governor’s proposed expansion plan, Healthy Utah. Herbert said that both sides of the debate agree that steps need to be taken to ensure that the Medicaid expansion is financially sustainable.

“We all agreed that doing nothing is not acceptable,” Herbert said. “There’s also a concern about what we end up doing in not only affordable today but is sustainable tomorrow, affordable tomorrow, and does not erode our budget and cause us to have to take money away from other worthwhile projects.”

In a press conference following the meeting, Niederhauser admitted that research numbers being used by the state to create the expansion plan had not been reviewed by the Department of Health and Human Services. He said that Utah is working with HHS to evaluate those findings.

“There’s a lot of information we’re getting form other states. There was some predictions on what the take rate would be on Medicaid expansion of those states,” Niederhauser said. “The secretary and their staff hadn’t seen any of those numbers. They want to mine down into that data to see how real it is.”

The governor has called a special summer session of the legislature to resolve the issue.