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Utah governor says Obama may allow more flexibility on Medicaid work requirement

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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Gov. Gary Herbert is still pushing federal officials to allow the state to require some Medicaid recipients to have a job.

Speaking from Washington, D.C. on Tuesday afternoon, Herbert told reporters that President Barack Obama may allow more flexibility in Utah, where lawmakers are reluctant to approve a Medicaid expansion plan.

PHOTO: President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting with the executive committee of the National Governors Association in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015. From left are, Obama, National Governors Association Chairman, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and National Governors Association Vice Chairman, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting with the executive committee of the National Governors Association in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015. From left are, Obama, National Governors Association Chairman, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and National Governors Association Vice Chairman, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Herbert and other governors met with Obama while in Washington this week for National Governors Association meetings.

The U.S. Health and Human Services Department had no immediate comment on the issue Wednesday.

The Obama administration has not allowed states to require people have a job to receive Medicaid coverage.

Herbert reached a tentative agreement in late 2014 with federal officials over his alternative plan to expand Medicaid. Participants would be automatically enrolled in job-search and training programs, but they'd be allowed to opt out.

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