- Associated Press - Friday, March 25, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Gov. Gary Herbert has signed a bare-bones plan to expand Medicaid after lawmakers spent years debating and rejecting more robust proposals.

The Republican governor on Friday signed the proposal, which would insure childless adults who are homeless or in treatment and offender programs.

The plan would cover about 16,000 people and cost Utah about $30 million. Just under half of that would be paid for by a tax on hospitals.

Herbert had proposed a bigger plan that would take advantage of millions more offered by President Barack Obama’s health care law and insure about 126,000 people.

Lawmakers rejected that proposal last year, citing fears that costs could balloon.

The governor has said the plan approved Friday is better than nothing but it’s not what he would have preferred.

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