Comments about ‘Matthew S. Holland: The collision between education and Medicaid’

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Published: Sunday, Feb. 27 2011 12:00 a.m. MST

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Kearns, UT

The Utah braggards are out again, bragging about how well they can manipulate the economy figures to make us look superior. Utah legislators haven't been able to accept the fact that federal funds are drying up, pork funds are minimal and more controlled, Medicaid and education funding is a burden rather with no tax revenue to support it. And the slave labor jobs is Utah cannot support tax dependent government, education, or health care.

The truth is that Utah legislators still have their heads buried in the sand and refuse to accept how critically corrupt and disheveled the economy of Utah is. Utah legislators are adept at manipulating numbers to falsify information and to use that falsified information to plan a budget. A very critical mistake for the future of this state. We need a reality government, one that isn't mentally and vision impaired.

Sugar City, ID

Whose money is it? All of the ills of our current global society are blamed on the shortage of money. The fact is that there is plenty to spare.Consider the words of Thomas Paine.
Civilization, therefore, or that which is so called, has operated two ways: to make one part of society more affluent, and the other more wretched, than would have been the lot of either in a natural state.
Separate an individual from society, and give him an island or a continent to possess, and he cannot acquire personal property. He cannot be rich. So inseparably are the means connected with the end, in all cases, that where the former do not exist the latter cannot be obtained. All accumulation, therefore, of personal property, beyond what a mans own hands produce, is derived to him by living in society; and he owes on every principle of justice, of gratitude, and of civilization, a part of that accumulation back again to society from whence the whole came. Its the distribution of wealth that is the problem.

Springville, UT

I really appreciate President Holland's comments and agree. I would also suggest that Higher Education in general look into the mirror. The costs of education in America has outstripped inflation by roughly double, every year for a few decades now. While inflation has remained steady 2-3% the cost of higher education has remained steady at 8% or more.

I have videos, etc of higher education after World War Two. Such growth in student population with the demans of the Greatest Generation, Universities set up classes in military, metal shacks. In fact, as of a few years ago BYU still had one near the Wilkinson Center. It is an example of Higher Education getting it done. Now, we are entrenched in a linear thought process about delivery.

To bring both worlds together (spiraling costs and need of 66% graduation needs) Higher Education needs to dramatically change their delivery. Virtual education needs to become the norm; Associate Degrees need to be more focused, almost a modern certificate of skills, etc.

Lead on, you are halfway there!

Moab, UT

I do not understand why Medicaid is called an entitlement. It is welfare plain and simple.

American Fork, UT

Is Medicaid the problem or is the cost of health care? As smart as we are, we cannot think our way out of outrageous hospital bills.

Eight years ago I had five stitches given at the emergency room (it was after the Instacare had CLOSED for the night). The cost: $1,000. That was eight years ago. I could only imagine what that would cost now. Unless we reign in ludicrous medical costs, we will either have to spend more money on health care or the majority of the population can expect to have an average life expectancy of about 50 years. The best way to control medicaid is to find out why medical costs are increasing at a pace of 3 to 5 times the rate of inflation and think of solutions.

working class
Salt Lake City, UT

At first pop it seems somewhat arbitrary to select two government programs and have them square off. One could select a number of different government measures to compare to higher eduction. Dr. Holland gets no opposition from me in his enthusiasm for higher ed. But in the current climate if one substitutes education funding at the expense of medicaid, the opportunity cost incurred amounts to many human lives. This hardly seems reasonable.

As to the presumed culture of entitlement, this is more a culture of survival or the attempt to survive in a treacherous environment. If Dr. Holland cares about higher ed AND health care he should support a single payer health system of some kind with teeth to contain costs and fairly distribute health services. Contrary to what Holland thinks, most people do not want government taking care of them - what they want is health care they can afford so they can get on making a contribution to their society.

Dale G
SLC, ut

Well, that's what you expect from someone feeding at the public trough: Don't cut my paycheck -- cut somebody's life saving treatments instead!

Clearfield, UT

Once again the core issued is ignored. Health care costs are the problem. A close personal friend is fighting cancer similiar to Atty Gen. Shurtleff. A once a month shot costs $5,000.00. My friend is a Ph.D. with a good income. He is worried what would happen if he lost his health insurance. Many are worried about hyper-inflation. We already have it in the health care industry. Why conservatives are so unwilling to address the health care crisis is mind boggling. I for one am sick of living in a country where people have to beg for charity health care because a loved one needs an operation or medical care that insurance won't cover or they are uninsured due to unemployment or a pre-existing condition. There are people in Canada who refuse to visit the U.S. out of fear. Fear that an accident here or emergency medical care would leave them bankrupt. The real entitlement problem is the medical profession and out of control costs.

Invisible Hand
Provo, UT

Medicaid as it is currently run is wildly inefficient. The reason it is so expensive is the beneficiaries have every incentive to go see the doctor for any minor ailment. Introduce even a small copay and we would see the cost of Medicaid drop significantly.

Alpine, UT

Before considering a cut to domestic programs, cut foreign aid.

Sugar City, ID

Invisible hand.
Medicaid recipients usually have to go to emergency rooms because doctors won't see them. A $50.00 charge becomes a $5,000 expense to tax payers.
Solution: Romneycare.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

How can we continue to give billions in foreign aid and trillions in wars while policing the whole world and cut domestic programs which benefit our own people?

Let Asia and Europe defend themselves!

Get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Eliminate the tax cuts for the wealthiest 1%, they don't need them. Cut the subsidizes for oil companies (who are making record profits).

Problem solved.

Cedar City, UT

@ NeilT

Spot on. Want to talk about entitlement. Americans, ALL Americans feel 'entitled' to receive medical care because we live in a country with good medical resources. When you get a new job that you worked hard to get don't you feel 'entitled' to finally receive those benefits that typically come with that level of work? What if it wasn't there? What if employers didn't provide that resource and you had to fend for yourself. Would you just shrug it off and say "well I guess I didn't get it and that's just life." No, you'd fight for a way to have access to it.

What we are seeing is not necessarily entitlement. It's people fighting for their health and their lives. Now the way the government is handling it right now may not be ideal, but it's not the peoples fault. It is the options that are available.

Sugar City, ID

In a letter from Samuel Adams to John Adams (written 1790) the following comments were made: Such an age may afford at least a flattering expectation that nations, as well as individuals, will view the utility of universal education in so strong a light as to induce sufficient national patronage and support. will draw together the sons of the rich and poor, among whom it makes no distinction. Education inures men to thinking and reflection, to reasoning and demonstration. It discovers to them the moral and religious duties they owe to God, their country and to all mankind.
Surely, Utah of all states, will not support an education system where the people began to be distinguished by ranks, according to their riches and their chances for learning; yea, some were ignorant because of their poverty, and others did receive great learning because of their riches.

Brigham City, UT

I would like to hear Mr. Holland's opinion on the costs of the Iraq war. And if he had to choose between war and fixing health care, I would like to know which one he would choose. With his love of the country of Israel, I think I know which one he would choose, but I would like him to come right out and say it publicly.

Murray, Utah

For better than 20 years the price of higher education has outpaced the rate of inflation.

There's a number of reasons why, some of which may be more or less true at UVU:

1). Research is super expensive.
2). Much of the professoriate doesn't teach very many hours.
3). There's more administrative personnel per student now than ever.
4). Cheap money in the form of student loans has students chasing education with their dollars.
5). Potentially cheaper alternatives like online only education or for-profit institutions remain outside the mainstream and unrespected. (I say potentially cheaper because we all know how expensive colleges like the University of Phoenix are).
6). College campuses are more luxe than they were 50 years ago and offer students more non-education-related amenities.

President Holland needs to look hard inwardly and ask, how can we educate students less expensively before he starts eying other government programs like Medicaid.

Casa Grande, AZ

This is a false argument. Medicare and SS are funded by separate payroll deductions for that purpose. Nobody has the right to redirect those funds. But SS and medicare funds seem to be a big pot of gold the republicans want to bust into.

There are no payroll deductions for education. They are funded by property taxes and those funds should not ever fund medicare.

Provo, UT

Three problems have to addressed if we are to have a reasonable cost and quality education.

Too many students are not prepared for college courses. The acceptance standards have to be raised and students who can not or will not prepare should not be accepted. This will reduce the remedial programs that cost more than regular programs.

Divide college faulty into teaching and research status. Teachers are paid for teaching. Researchers have to raise there own salary through grants. Faculty tenure must be renewed every four years.

Make all state schools part of one system. Each campus would have a specialty so you can cut redundant programs or just two years then transfer. Duplicating expensive upper class labs and facilities would reduce our costs significantly.

  • 5:14 p.m. Feb. 27, 2011
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USS Enterprise, UT

TO "NeilT | 9:40 a.m. " you ask where the conservatives are? Guess what, they have proposed ideas that will actually cut the cost of care.

The HC bill that was passed will increase the cost of healthcare in multiple ways. First, it adds people to insurance rolls without adding doctors. Thus doctors can charge a premium.

Second, it adds mandates to insurance. Every mandate, no matter how small, adds a cost. How much more expensive do you think insurance will be once you are able to sign up for insurace the day after getting diagnosed with Cancer?

Third, they increased taxes on medical device companies. This makes medical equipment more expensive.

So, tell us, how does making insurance and care more expensive help lower the cost?

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

The real problem is that both health care costs and higher ed costs are wildly out of control.

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