Comments about ‘My view: Expanding Medicaid is the right decision for Utah’

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Published: Thursday, March 21 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Dr. Udall,

you say we should acquiesce just to get the free federal money.

the money is not free. SOMEBODY has to pay for it.

and it does not meet your definition of "free" for all that long. eventually the feds withdraw their funding and we are left holding the bag.

Accepting this money is akin to accepting the first few "free" hits from the drug dealer; he gives them away at first because he knows once you are hooked, he can make a ton of money off of you later.

The State of Utah cannot afford to get addicted to this misguided and expensive program. Just say NO!!!! to Obamacare.

Steve C. Warren
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

Thank you, Dr. Udall, for a sensible, well-written article.

It appears that in other states the ideologues have also made a big hubbub, but the governors are having the common sense to just say yes to these federal funds that greatly benefit their residents.

10CC
Bountiful, UT

At some point I think the good people in this state who are followers of Jesus need to decide which is more important: taking care of the less fortunate and getting them the healthcare they need, or fighting the federal government.

The noble idea of having private charity pay for the less fortunate has been given the longest audition in the history of medical care, and it has failed.

In much the same way that Paul Ryan suggests a voucher system for Social Security and Medicare, maybe we need to provide the defense department with a voucher that says they can spend twice as much money on defense as the next most powerful nation, but no more.

Twice as much as the next nation seems like a pretty good deal to me.

Cameron
Eagle Mountain, UT

Medicaid expansion isn't free. According to the Kaiser foundation it will cost Utah $263 million in the first ten years alone.

10CC
Bountiful, UT

Cameron:

It's supposed to cost $500-$600 Million to move the prison, which I think most people who've studied it suggest will be a net loss, which is why Governor Huntsman's committee decided it was a bad idea.

Yet, the lets-move-the-prison idea is back with us again, with no mention of the previous feasibility study, and some legislators are bound to make a lot of money should the move occur.

But it would cost $263 Million over ten years to expand Medicaid.

Which of these two ideas is more sound from a moral standpoint?

Moderate
Salt Lake City, UT

"the money is not free. SOMEBODY has to pay for it."
"Medicaid expansion isn't free."
You are thinking of it in the wrong terms.

Medical treatment for these patients is not free. Their bill would either be paid by Medicaid, or through the expensive traditional method of hospitals writing off the debt through tax credits. Tax credits mean lost revenue for the government. The government would prefer to cover the bills of these patients through the cheapest way possible, and that turns out to be Medicaid.

Cameron
Eagle Mountain, UT

The author of the letter cannot fathom why Utah would consider rejecting free money to expand Medicaid, and can only chalk it up to extremist ideologues refusing to see how simple it is. What the author clearly does not know is that expansion comes with a definite price. Which is surprising to most people because expansion advocates have been touting it as free money for a couple of years now.

So no, it's not ideology that makes the decision making process a methodical one. It's math.

Expansion means raising taxes or cutting other programs. Even *after* accounting for cost savings, expanding Medicaid will cost the state $263 million over ten years. And of course keep rising after that. This is an extremely important, long-term budget decision that just cannot be summed up with the letter author's, "it's free money, of course we should take it."

Mike in Cedar City
Cedar City, Utah

Lost in DC. How could a person be so "lost"? You think that there is no cost if we don't expand medicare coverage? Think again.

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