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Conservative group steps up Utah ObamaCare attacks

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The conservative group Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is stepping up its attacks on ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion as the decision-making enters a key phase in Utah. 

{mosads}AFP, backed by conservative donors Charles and David Koch, is launching new mail pieces sent to the constituents of roughly a dozen key Utah state lawmakers. 

Republicans in the state House of Representatives are scheduled to meet on Tuesday to weigh their support for a compromise Medicaid expansion plan negotiated among legislative leaders and Gov. Gary Herbert (R), who has for months been looking for a way to expand the program. 

The compromise plan would expand eligibility for Medicaid under ObamaCare to people with incomes up to 138 percent of the poverty line, about $33,000 for a family of four. However, instead of the usual system of government-provided insurance, the compromise would give people financial assistance to buy private insurance plans. Arkansas expanded Medicaid with a similar system. 

The compromise would also help pay for expansion with a new tax on health providers, under the theory that they stand to gain from having newly-insured patients.  

AFP, which has worked against expansion in states across the country, slams the plan in new mailers with the slogan “Medicaid Expansion=More Obamacare.”

Utah would become the 31st state to expand Medicaid. The Obama administration has repeatedly called on states to accept the expansion and said that it will work with them to make compromises that put in conservative twists. The administration would have to sign off on Utah’s plan. 

Putting Utah aside, the other 19 states that have not accepted the expansion yet are still largely led by Republicans who remain resistant to expanding the program, often citing concerns about cost. 

The federal government initially picks up the entire tab, but that contribution is then dialed back to 90 percent of the cost.  


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