What happens when the interest payments on our debt balloon to 36% of the
budget, Medicare costs sky rocket to 33% of the budget and social security
medicaid defense and other programs have to share the rest of the cost? What happens as we have seen in the sequester, payments to the state get
cut. Now they first start with items like school funds, defense contracts and
base cut backs and then flow into projects that get cut like transit and other
infrastructure items the next thing on the list is conflict with medicaid and
unemployment benefits as the state/federal partnership breaks down and it is no
longer cost effective for the state to run those programs.Medicaid
expansion is unaffordable and it increases the risk that we will face as a state
if we don't find an alternative to the current mess. Tort reform is needed
to reduce the size of multi-million dollar lawsuits and a reverting to the true
insurance model of HDHPs/HSAs. Otherwise medicare/medicaid and cadillac plans
will squeeze these groups that this article is about.
Even though this example makes it perfectly clear how unjust Utah's stance
is on health care, we are a Republican state and therefore must oppose
Obamacare, even if our policies harm many of our citizens and benefit none.
Ideology is all that matters in Utah.
I'm confused. How can the family who only makes $23,000 not qualify when
the family who makes $35,000 can. Doesn't make sense.
@The Hammer:The Medicaid Expansion is not unaffordable! The financial
reports that have been performed by unaffiliated groups show that Utah will
actually come out ahead. Governor Herbert has come as far as to at least say
that it would be a wash to the state budget. Right now the costs of
uncompensated care are being paid for from other areas, and medical issues are
being allowed to be put off until they are large and expensive, rather than
catching them and treating them when they are still small and less expensive.
@Clarissa:That is due to how the Supreme Court ruled on the Affordable
Care Act. The original plan was that people above a certain percent of the
poverty level would qualify for vouchers to help them pay for their healthcare
premiums, while those below that level would qualify for expanded Medicaid,
which would cover their healthcare costs. However, the Supreme Court ruled that
states could choose whether or not to expand Medicaid, which now leaves some of
the poorest people without coverage in states that decide not to expand
Medicaid. This is why it is so important that Utah expands Medicaid. We are
already paying taxes to the federal government to help pay for the expansion and
we now need to approve the Medicaid Expansion in Utah in order to allow those
funds to come back to our state rather than going to other states who are
expanding Medicaid. As it stands right now, a large, vulnerable population is
left without affordable healthcare options.
What this situation underscores is not that Medicaid needs to be expanded,
rather it highlights the flaws in a drastically flawed ACA.We simply must
fight the ACA at very turn. Why do we even entertain the thought that
Washington DC should control health care in utah? They are beyond bankrupt and
will leave us holding the bag.
@Jean22Utah will come out ahead if all things remain as payments
have always been. Where Utah actually gets back more in tax dollars than it
gives to Washington. And our budget will consist of more than 50% of our states
income from the federal government. This would be a trap for us going forward
financially. The problem is our federal deficits will continue to
cause interest payments on our debt to go up every year. And the federal
government continues to not include the dangerous effects of baby boomers
draining medicare funds when they get older and the cost model flips and the
cost to insure them will balloon to 1/3 of the entire budget maybe even more.
This would leave less money for all other programs and as the sequester has
shown the first budget items that get cut are money that is returned to the
states and Utah would be very vulnerable. The Utah CPA association
has been talking about these realities and making it very clear that if we
become reliant on more federal monies to take care of our problems we will be
the ones to suffer under unsustainable federal debt.
It seems like the opponents of accepting expanded Medicaid essentially conclude
that we shouldn't accept the additional funds because eventually the
citizens of Utah might have to pony up more money to fund Medicaid, if the
federal government is unable to.I think the tax payers from the rest
of the states would cheer on this shortsighted approach, because Utah already
gets more in federal funding than they provide in tax revenues. We're
already a burden on the other states, particularly blue states that pay more in
taxes than they get back in the way of federal spending.The only
people who get a raw deal here are the Utah families who need the help... and
other healthcare consumers in Utah who have to pay for the uninsured when they
eventually go to the Emergency Room, and can't pay.I've
never really thought of Utah conservatives as being concerned about the burden
Utah places on Blue states, but I guess I have to admire their owning up to Utah
not pulling our weight, nationally."Bravo", I guess.
If you claim to care about the poor than you should be concerned about what
excessive federal debt can do to a nation (check France before, during and after
the french revolution). The only reason we get to live so extravagantly as a
nation with our entitlements (ie. MEDICAID EXPANSION) and defense spending is
because we inflate the value of our dollar and other countries are willing to
buy our currency. But they also look at us for stability and the one thing we
are not proving to be is stable in our debt and deficits. You cannot
out run the laws of finance forever and eventually creditors come calling. Will
we have the revenue and GDP as a nation to pay for that debt? Medicaid
expansion will prove to be another credit card item as congress and the
President punts on the doc fix, the medical device tax, and all other cuts to
any program in the budget. Then the true cost of the ACA will show up and it
won't be sustainable!
You're example is evidence of the non sensical way government processes
formulas. Utah isn't and shouldn't be liable for coverage that will
likely bankrupt the state and burden it's citizens even more. The federal
government is broke. Our governor is trying to prevent that from becoming our
future and lucky for us, the Supreme Court has backed him up. We as a society
have an obligation to help the poor but how we do it can determine our solvency
as a nation and the present course ain't it. Please go back to the drawing
It's so naive to believe the promises of the federal government. Where is
there any proof that it operates within the budgets it sets? It never happens.
Not only will taxes sky-rocket for Utahans if we expand Medicaid, but the poor
will not receive the medical care they need. Doctors already refuse to accept
Medicaid patients; and, there are not enough doctors to handle the influx.
Medical care for everyone will diminish.
I've lived in several countries with socialized medical care. The lines
are long; the taxes are very high; many procedures are denied; and, you wait
months for many other medical procedures. I by-passed it all because I was a
North American with dollars and I had private insurance. That is what will
happen here with the ACA. People with money, members of Congress, and people
who can afford private insurance will get the best care. The poor will continue
When did it become proper and correct for anyone in America to feed from the
public trough? When did it become proper and correct for anyone in America to
think that his neighbors should pay his medical bills? The government pays
nothing. It never has. All payments made by the government come for those of
us who work in the private sector. Governments do not pay taxes, they collect
taxes. Government businesses do not pay taxes. Private sector businesses pay
taxes; however, the taxes paid by private sector companies are really paid by
you and me. Those taxes are part of every purchase that we make.When we finally realize that government is the problem, not the solution, then
we might find a real solution. If each of us had to pay for our own
medical costs, we would be very selective about going to the doctor. Doctors
would have to adjust their costs. Last week I received a bill for $215 for a
blood test. My insurance information had not been sent to the lab. My
insurance company allowed $15 for that test. The true value was $15, not $215.
Ok Dr. Tom, tell us, where do we get the money to expand Medicaid? Are you
willing to take 2% more out of the paychecks of the poor (Medicaid is a payroll
tax so you can't escape it) just to expand an entitlement program?If you want to help the poor get medical help, why not open a free clinic and
take care of those people yourself. You have the skills, and hopefully have the
financial means. There are many of us that don't have the means, and each
tax hike only erodes what little money we have at the end of the month.
Over the past 40 years we have spent trillions of dollars on anti-poverty
programs. All of them cost far more than they were predicted to cost. Yet 40
years later we have more poor people than when the programs started. The great
thing about being a Democrat is that your programs create new problems which you
can then advocate for more government funding to solve, creating yet more
problems, which leads to more government funding.Just wait until
many more people lose their health insurance next year. I know many small
business owners who are struggling just to make it. Many are approaching the
point where they either have to cut health coverage or go under. What will
happen when they shift their employees to 29 hour work weeks with no benefits?
The Federal government will be there to hand our food stamps and subsidized
health insurance. Who will pay for it - our children and grandchildren of