Utah legislature approves stripped down health care plan

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah State Legislature has approved health care covered for the poorest in the state.

By a 19-8 vote, the Utah State Senate approved HB437, House Republicans’ answer to Healthy Utah after last year’s bruising battle over health care coverage. The bill provides coverage for the chronically homeless, inmates and people in need of substance abuse or mental health treatment.

It is expected to cost the state around $30 million, with additional funding coming from the federal government. Critics have said full Medicaid expansion is better, claiming HB437 will not cover enough people.

The bill goes to the governor for his signature or veto.

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