Utah: The Need for Healthcare Reform
Disability rights advocates in Utah are expressing concern about a failed plan to expand Medicaid coverage by the end of this past July. The expansion, authorized under the Affordable Care Act, would have provided Medicaid coverage to all adults earning less than 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Jerry Costley, director of the Utah chapter of the disability rights group ADAPT, expressed his concern that many Utah residents with disabilities fall through gaps in the state’s Medicaid coverage. Some low-income workers with disabilities may rely on the Medicaid expansion to provide “bridge” coverage while they apply for disability-based Medicaid coverage. Utah residents with disabilities are also concerned about disparities in access to Medicaid HCBS waivers that can help people with disabilities live in the community and receive employment services. Statistics show that nearly 400,000 Utah residents have disabilities and many of their families are feeling the lack of coverage in the state to support health, employment and community living. The ADAPT chapter is planning a protest in Salt Lake City in late September. Listen to the Utah Public Radio show or read the transcript for more information.