- Associated Press - Thursday, June 26, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Gov. Gary Herbert says he’s optimistic that both federal officials and the Utah Legislature will approve his alternative Medicaid expansion plan this year.

The Republican governor said Thursday at his monthly televised news conference on KUED that the first step is securing a deal with the Obama administration.

Herbert has said before that he hoped to reach a deal with federal officials in June.

The governor wants to expand Medicaid by using a chunk of federal money to help people purchase private insurance plans.

Herbert says his office has worked through all but 10 of about 35 sticking points with federal officials.

One of those remaining sticking points is his proposal that program participants work if they’re able to.

There is no deadline to approve a plan.

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