FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 19, 2015
SALT LAKE CITY — The LDS Democrats caucus of the Utah Democratic Party announced Thursday that it supports Gov. Gary Herbert’s Healthy Utah Plan, the Medicaid expansion alternative for the state.
LDS Dems joins the chorus of moderate voices in both major political parties calling for passage of Herbert’s plan, including Presiding Bishop Gary Stevenson, who joined other community and religious leaders at Herbert’s news conference in December.
“The governor’s plan will cover vulnerable Utahns who need more health insurance,” said Crystal Young-Otterstrom, LDS Dems chairwoman. “As Democrats and as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we support this compassionate, common-sense program, and we call on members of the Utah Legislature to pass it immediately.”
Gov. Herbert’s plan would extend coverage to up to 146,000 people while holding down costs for already insured Utahns. The plan also enjoys widespread support in polls of Utah voters.
Rep. Jim Dunnigan and Sen. Allen Christensen have declined to recommend the governor’s plan and have instead put forward their own inadequate, incomplete, and unvetted Medicaid expansion plan. Dunnigan and Christensen’s plan would insure at most 14,000 people, reserving critical insurance coverage for only the sickest Utahns, instead of healthy, working families. This last-minute attempt ignores thousands of healthy, working families in the state, while driving up insurance costs for even healthy Utahns.
“As Mormons, we always wants to live as emissaries of Christ, and providing assistance to poor families is a perfect way to do that,” Young-Otterstrom said. “We also want to remind Rep. Dunnigan and Sen. Christensen that they serve all Utahns. They should allow Gov. Herbert’s plan to progress through the legislative process, as the majority of their constituents clearly want.”
LDS Democrats (LDS Dems) is an official caucus of the Utah Democratic Party, and part of the national organization, LDS Democrats of America. Just three years old, LDS Dems is the largest caucus inside the Utah Democratic Party with more than 4,500 members. More info at ldsdems.org. LDS Dems blogs at mormonpress.com