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Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed, Utah established a successful health insurance exchange for small employers that to date has almost 8,000 enrollees. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has asked Utah to amend its exchange to comply with the ACA's guidelines.
At an AEI event on Wednesday, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced Utah's plan to share responsibility for its exchange with HHS. Utah will oversee insurance markets, Medicaid eligibility, and the small-business exchange, whereas HHS will assume responsibility for the exchange for individuals.
Gov. Herbert stressed that although Utah is prepared to participate in the exchange, it is unwilling to enforce the individual mandate, administer Medicaid through the exchange, or administer premium tax credits. Utah is willing to work with the federal government in implementing the ACA, Gov. Herbert emphasized, but will continue to seek market-oriented solutions that address the rising cost of health care and uphold the state's history of fiscal prudence.
Utah pioneered its own version of a state health exchange as far back as 2009, well before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was even enacted. Utah has also sought various types of federal waivers to revise and expand its state Medicaid program.
Last December, the state of Utah essentially challenged federal officials to declare its own implemented version of health exchanges to be fully compliant with the ACA's statutory requirements. Yet a volley of letters between the secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert seem to indicate that the situation is still up in the air.
At this luncheon forum, Gov. Herbert will discuss the state of Utah’s exchange, but also place it within the broader context of what should represent innovative and effective state-led health policy reform. He will also outline Utah's approach to Medicaid reform and the state's leadership role in promoting market-based, patient-centered health care.
If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.
Thomas P. Miller, AEI
Gary R. Herbert, Governor of Utah
For more information, please contact Catherine Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org, 202.862.5920.
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Gary R. Herbert has served as Utah’s 17th governor since 2009. As governor, he focuses on four cornerstones to strengthen Utah’s economy: education, energy, jobs, and the ability of the state to solve its own problems. Herbert currently serves as the chair of the Western Governors Association, on the executive committee of the National Governors Association (NGA), and on the Education and Workforce Committee of the NGA. Before becoming the state’s chief executive, Herbert served as lieutenant governor for five years. In 1990, Herbert was elected to the Utah County Commission, where he served for 14 years. Previously, he served on the Utah National Guard for six years.
Thomas P. Miller is a resident fellow at AEI, where he focuses on health policy with a particular emphasis on information transparency, health insurance regulation, and consumer-driven health care. He was a member of the National Advisory Council for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality from 2007 to 2009. Before joining AEI, Miller served for three years as a senior health economist for the Joint Economic Committee, where he organized a series of hearings focusing on promising reforms in private health care markets. He has also been director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute and director of economic policy studies at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Miller’s writings have appeared in publications such as Health Affairs, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Reader’s Digest, National Review, and Forbes.com. Before moving to Washington, DC, to work on public policy, he was a trial attorney, journalist, and radio broadcaster.