(KUTV) Donald Trump, the President-elect, has promised to repeal and replace Obamacare as soon as he takes office.
With just weeks until that happens, Utah leaders are actively working to play a role in shaping what happens next.
Former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt will undoubtedly play a role as a transition consultant to the transition team and former Health and Human Services Secretary.
Meanwhile, current Gov. Herbert is working on his own influence.
“The governor wants to be well prepared when that opportunity comes,” said Tom Hudachko with the Utah State Health Department. He is part of an informal work group formed to help the governor.
As soon as election night was in the books, Herbert set the wheels in motion for an internal work group that will advise him as Obamacare is repealed and replaced.
“We want to make sure we’ve had the discussion and that the governor has had the chance to hear from his advisors, who are well versed in these areas so that when Congress or the administration comes knocking, we’ve got ideas for them on solutions that will help Utah,” Hudachko said.
Herbert has tasked senior advisors, along with the Utah Health and Insurance Departments, to take part.
Herbert’s plan is already paying off, Hudachko said.
“Following the governor putting this group together, we received letters from Congress saying we would like you as a state to be prepared as a state as to how we should move forward as a nation.”
Meanwhile Leavitt is talking nationally about how that process will work on website Chcradio.com/.
“Republicans have, for three elections in a row, campaigned that they would repeal and replace the law and I think they have no alternative but fulfill that, considering the mandate for change in the last election,” Leavitt said. He believes the Affordable Care Act change will not happen overnight.
“Here we are six years later, essentially starting over again, because they insisted on going fast,” Leavitt said in a recent health care podcast.
In Utah, top influencers are ready to make sure the state has a voice. If you ask Leavitt, the more the better.
“One of the primary mistakes made in the passage of the Affordable Care Act was that it was done entirely on a partisan basis. They will not make that mistake again,” he said.