2016 Legislative Preview

04 January 2016

The 2016 General Session of the Utah State Legislature is set to begin on Monday, January 25th and there are several healthcare-related items anticipated to be debated during this session.

  • Medicaid funding/expansion--The legislature continues its efforts to come up with a compromise expanding Medicaid to those individuals in the "doughnut hole"--with income at or below 100% of the federal poverty level and ineligible for federal assistance. UHA is deeply involved in helping to craft a solution within a framework acceptable to both legislative leadership and UHA member hospitals.
  • Hospital Assessment--The hospital assessment is up for renewal and UHA will be voicing support of its extension. The assessment, which provides additional monies to allow maximization of the federal match for Medicaid, has been discussed in earlier committee meetings and is anticipated to be extended with little opposition.
  • Medical Marijuana--At least two bills are anticipated around the topic of medical marijuana for debate in this year's session. Currently, 23 states have legalized broad medical marijuana use and four states have legalized recreational use of marijuana. Utah, along with 12 other states, has legalized limited access to marijuana products that are low THC/High Cannabidiol products for medical use.
  • End of Life Issues--As national debate grows on how to provide more education and support related to end-of-life issues, it is anticipated that some bills may come forward on this topic in the 2016 session.

UHA's 2016 Legislative Reception is set for Tuesday, February 9th, 5-7 p.m. at Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City. Please mark your calendar to join us for this event. Hospital leaders will be receiving more information on the reception shortly.

As always, Dave Gessel and Greg Bell are your eyes and ears on Capitol Hill. If you have questions about this year's top legislative issues, please contact either Dave or Greg at UHA, 801-486-9915.