- Associated Press - Thursday, March 5, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A Democratic lawmaker on Thursday attempted to resurrect a Medicaid expansion bill that was voted down in committee.

Rep. Justin Miller, a Salt Lake City Democrat, asked lawmakers to bring the governor’s Medicaid expansion plan to the House floor for a debate and vote. A committee voted down that plan on Wednesday evening and sent an alternative proposal from Rep. Jim Dunnigan to the floor.

Miller wanted House members to discuss the issue next week, the last week of the legislative session. It is typical for lawmakers to suspend the rules as the session draws to a close.

He appealed to lawmakers to give the bill a second chance, saying they are facing a once-in-a-generation decision. Representatives killed his proposal in a 16 to 56 vote, with several Republicans joining Democrats to vote in favor.

The Medicaid expansion plan introduced by Republican Gov. Gary Herbert would cover more people and cost less than Dunnigan’s alternative. But proponents of Dunnigan’s plan say his is more sustainable and worry that changes in the federal health care law will make the future of the governor’s plan unpredictable.

Dunnigan, a Taylorsville Republican and the House majority leader, said Miller’s suggestion was against House procedure and not the right way to do business.

“Are we going to say ‘I want a do-over?’ ” said Dunnigan, who said it is the job of committees to vet bills. “This is a bad motion. It’s a bad idea.”

After Miller’s motion failed, Republicans held a closed-door meeting for about 30 minutes.

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