Utah Voters Approve Medicaid Expansion—150,000 Utahns to Gain Healthcare Coverage

Utah voters have cast their ballots, and the results are clear – Utahns want Medicaid expansion.
Passing with 54% of the vote on Election Day, the final margin of victory for Proposition 3, which expands the state’s healthcare program to an estimated 150,000 Utahns, will be announced on November 20th. But today, supporters are celebrating.

“Definitively ballot initiatives really do reflect the will of the people. In record breaking turn out Utahns all over the state have made it clear that they understand and have prioritized expanding access to healthcare through Medicaid expansion.” Said RyLee Curtis, Campaign Manager for Proposition 3.

The Proposition 3 campaign to expand Medicaid to 150,000 Utahns has always been about extending a helping hand to Utahns in need.

“I’ve never been prouder to be Utahn. Was I nervous about the results? Of course, but I always believed at the end of the day, when it came down to the vote, Utahns would support helping people like me.” Said Grant Burningham, Bountiful resident in the coverage gap.

Utahns have fought for Medicaid expansion for over six years to increase access to basic healthcare coverage to Utahns earning less than $17,000 a year for an individual, or less than $34,000 per year for a family of four.

“There’s been hundreds of consumers who have offered glimpses into their lives with legislators, the media, and with the general public—bravery worth admiration. Their ability to be truthful and sincere as they were oftentimes questioned about the most intimate parts of their lives—divorce, death, accidents, and diagnosis—and how these unexpected life events impacted their ability to get healthcare” said Curtis.

Curtis recalls Carol Frisby, a resident of Taylorsville she met while lobbying for Medicaid expansion in 2015 who needed a colonoscopy. Frisby was unable to obtain the screening because she was uninsured. Shortly thereafter she was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer, and she passed away leaving behind her husband of 23 ½ years, a Vietnam War Veteran. She passed away before Utah expanded Medicaid—but Curtis says the passage of Proposition 3 means people like Carol can get the care that they need, and stories like hers will be prevented.

“Carol and I never regretted sharing our story about her needing Medicaid. She was a pioneer in trying to do something and I’m glad that her efforts, and the efforts of all these people have finally paid off.” Said Brent Frisby, husband of Carol Frisby.

Proposition 3 had the support of several Faith-based organizations, hundreds of medical professionals and their trade associations, non-profit and direct service organizations, and hundreds of volunteers statewide who gave their time to help pass the initiative.

This past year, Proposition 3 volunteers and dedicated advocates collected over 200,000 signatures to secure Medicaid’s spot on the ballot, and the campaign reached hundreds of thousands of Utah voters through phone banking, television ads, direct mail, and social media.

“Utah voters recognized this need and came together to show that we are a state that above all else, values families. With this win, starting in April, 150,000 Utahns will be able to apply for Medicaid and receive approval. Approval that will allow them to visit their primary care doctor, to treat their ongoing medical conditions, and to get healthy” Curtis said.

About Proposition 3:
Proposition 3 expands Medicaid in Utah and will deliver life-saving healthcare to more than 150,000 Utahns, including parents and those with chronic illnesses. It will expand Medicaid to individuals earning less than $17,000 a year, or parents earning less than $34,000 per year for a family of four. Proposition 3 will bring home nine federal dollars for every state dollar spent, which is $800 million in our tax dollars back to Utah every year. That money will create nearly 14,000 new jobs and generate $1.7 billion in statewide economic impact.

For more information about Proposition 3, visit utahdecides.org.