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Activists challenge restrictions in Utah’s Medicaid program

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Health care advocates challenged restrictions set by state officials in Utah’s proposed Medicaid expansion during a tense public hearing.

The Utah Department of Health met with residents Thursday to collect feedback before submitting the plan to the federal government.

Some health care advocates expressed concern that a scaled-back version of the voter-approved law will leave behind thousands of people. Advocate Stacy Stanford said the work requirement and enrollment cap outlined in the regulations would block people from receiving critical health care.

State officials say the requests reduce uncompensated care and prevent the Medicaid program from cutting into funds from Utah’s general budget.

Utah rolled out its partial Medicaid expansion in April, and plan to ask the federal government for a first-of-its-kind waiver to cover a larger share of the program.