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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Beginning of the End

On Thursday morning at 9am the Utah legislature’s Health Reform Task Force will meet for the tenth time to discuss options for closing Utah’s coverage gap.

But this meeting will be different.

The agenda for Thursday’s meeting is packed with perspectives from people who understand Utah’s coverage gap—the tens of thousands of Utahns who earn too little to purchase subsidized private insurance, but earn too much to receive Medicaid.

Here’s a sample of the Task Force agenda:

  • Paul Gibbs, the local filmmaker who created “Entitled To Life”, will preview a seven-minute version of his powerful; documentary to Utah legislators. We expect many of the Utahns profiled in the film and others living in the coverage gap to be in the audience.
  •  The task force will hear testimony on the coverage gap from three important perspectives: Dr. Vivian Lee (CEO of Univ. of Utah Heath Systems); Bishop David Heslington (LDS 12th Ward, Salt Lake City); and Melanie Soule (Utah mother and businesswoman who lacks insurance).
  • Dr. Norm Waitzman from the University of Utah will release a new demographic report that sheds light on lives of tens of thousands of Utahns who could receive new coverage under both a traditional Medicaid expansion and the Governor’s Healthy Utah plan. 
  • Staff from the Utah Dept. of Health will update legislators on the ongoing federal negotiations over the Healthy Utah plan. Federal sign-off is necessary before the governor can call a special session of the Utah legislature this fall.  

After two years of alternating progress and retreats, Utah’s debate over closing the coverage gap is marching towards a positive conclusion this fall. And this week’s task force meeting will be one of the most important events in this struggle. Please attend the task force meeting to show your respect for Utah trailblazers like Paul Gibbs, Melanie Soules, Stacy Stanford, and Rick Gelino. We know that a vast majority of Utah voters support for closing Utah’s coverage gap. Now we just need our legislators to recognize that they—and a realistic solution—exist.

On Thursday morning you can follow UHPP’s coverage on the #hsrt meeting on Twitter.
Join us at or @UHPP

Please note: All Health Reform Task Force meetings are open to the public and deserve the respect and decorum of a serious business meeting.

Attend the meeting:
Health Reform Task Force
Utah Legislature
Thursday, July 17, 2014
9am to 12pm
Room 30 House Building

Get more involved:
Utah Communities for Healthcare Coverage is a new coalition of healthcare advocates, organizations, and community members working to close Utah’s coverage gap.
Do one of these today!

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