"principled pragmatism" is not the words I would use to describe
To continue to build on the national debt is, well, unsustainable. When you run
up a debt, sooner or later you have to pay it or face some consequences. There
is some funding behind the Medicaid expansions, but not enough to cover the full
bill. What is so illogical about what Lockhart and the legislators are saying?
They are saying, "Well, we will help as many of you as we can, but we are
going to pay for what we can give you. If it means creating a state program just
so the bills will be paid up front, we'll do it." The federal
government is tangling more than a carrot in front of Utah, offering more than
$500 million. It is saying, "I'll give you this money, Utah, if
you'll join in running up the national debt." No, the public (nor the
governor, nor the Deseret News) might understand turning down the $500-plus
million, but that doesn't mean it isn't the right thing to do. It
might appear we will be turning down money, but we will also be turning down
going further into debt.
I"m a Republican and I say Expand Medicaid! I hope there is room for the
sensible middle ground to help so many of our poorest residents many of whom
work dang hard. Also Utah gets some of the lowest rates of federal dollars
returned for taxes sent to Washington. It would be insane to turn down over
$500 million a year in dollars that would flow through Utah's economy. The
taxes generated by the jobs, wages and the trickle down effect would more than
pay for Utah's 10% buy in in the outlying years! Lets face it
"Obamacare" if it was renamed "Romneycare" the opposition would
melt away in Utah. Well, the honest minded would admit Obama stole
Romney's healthcare system essentially and nationalized it. Lets not throw
the poorest among us under the bus of tax penalties and living without adequate
health insurance just because we don't like Obama.
@DougS"The Deseret News' argument here seems akin to the
father who said "well, your irresponsible mother went out and bought a
flat-panel TV we can't afford, and as long as we're paying for that we
may as well buy a boat, too"I wanted to clarify your analogy.
It is more like taking the TV the mother bought and refusing to watch it because
you are against the principle of debt. Then you go give it away to your
neighbor in protest.The money is already spent - you may as well
enjoy your TV, because no matter if you watch it or not, the money will go here
or other states.Regardless of your position on the expansion, this
is a question of math that is being twisted into politics.
It was interesting to watch the DN editorial staff walk such a fine wavy line to
get to the obvious conclusion that Medicaid expansion under the ACA is the right
thing for Utah to do. But they couldn't get there without the obligatory
slamming of the ACA, which is the veritable foundation of the Medicaid expansion
law.Conclusion right DN. Logic to get to that conclusion, twisted
and tortured at best. You have admitted that the Medicaid expansion is one good
thing the ACA has brought. How about discussion some others, like the end of
preexisting condition limitations, the end of claim ceilings, reducing the drug
doughnut hole over time, controlling insurer profit levels, and last but not
least cutting premium costs by subsidy so that more Americans can afford health
We already have an effective and paid for health care delivery model for the
undocumented and un-insured. Insurance rates are a slightly higher for the
wealthily one percent of this nation who can easily afford their gold plated
health care plans in order to pay doctors and hospitals for the free care No one is turned away from the emergency room. We need to work on
reducing wait times for children with colds and the flu, business process
analysis will greatly help this.
At least one commenter misunderstands the difference between private insurance
enrollment under the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion. The 3.3 million
people enrolled by January bought insurance on the private market. The nine
million people enrolled in expanded Medicaid are not part of that number. So, a
combined 12 million plus Americans who lacked health insurance signed up for
coverage under the ACA by January. Both numbers will continue to rise.
Great editorial. I would take issue with some of the over-the-top adjectives
used for the ACA, such as "monstrous over-reach". Would you refer to
Social Security, Medicaid, and Unemployment Insurance as monstrous over-reaches?
Over-reach would have been adequate.
Once again the DN in it's frantic attempt to discredit the ACA has
deceived. They claim the CBO said the ACA will increase taxes by $1trillion,
therefor Utah's share is.. Actually the number comes from the CBO letter
to Boehner which said the repeal of the ACA would add $1 trillion to the deficit
by lost revenues. The revenues come mostly by increasing the Hospital Insurance
(HI) payroll tax and extending it to net investment income for high- income
taxpayers, and imposing fees or excise taxes on certain manufacturers and
insurers. The implication of the DN is that all taxpayers will be
paying extra taxes for the ACA every year in their tax submissions. Not True.
Welfare recipients should be on veterans health care and use their facilities. A
tax should be levied on non nutritious items to help pay addiction recovery
The 3.3 million figure for people signing up for Obamacare is an illusion.
There's no CANCEL button on the website, and we have no idea how many of
those people actually got insurance or paid their premiums. The majority of them
also qualified for MEDICAID, which means that the new signups for Obamacare
disproportionately burden the states, as WAY more of them than expected qualify
for the offered Federal Medicaid expansion.Should Utah drink the
Kool-Aid, given that tens of millions are going to lose their insurance plans
this year and be forced onto the exchanges, the Medicaid bill will spike WAY
higher than was predicted, and the taxpayers will be stuck with the bill. Utah
should stay as far way from the Obamacare Medicaid "deal" as possible,
since Obamacare simply makes many more people eligible for it.
As another commenter noted, Utah is on the receiving end of federal largesse.
It gets $1.07 in federal benefits for every $1.00 it sends to D.C. in federal
taxation. So, the claim the federal government owes Utahns money is not
accurate. Another mistake is to equate a small segment of the public paying
higher taxes with ALL taxpayers paying higher taxes. Only people with a yearly
income of more than a half million dollars are being directly taxed for the
Affordable Care Act. That is very few Utahns...or anyone else. Nor can I think of any "monstrous" aspects of the ACA. Preventing
people from being excluded from health care insurance because they have
preexisting conditions is not monstrous. Neither is keeping offspring on their
parents' insurance until they are 26. Nor is making preventive care free
under the ACA monstrous. (Perhaps I lack an imagination as active as these
editorial writers.')Medicaid should be expanded in Utah and
elsewhere. But, lets not embrace faulty arguments about why.
Maybe I'm being naïve, but there are some solid political reasons
Herbert should support expanded Medicaid:-As the Count My Vote and
Senator Curtis Bramble's electoral reform effort suggest, there is a
substantial movement toward limiting the ability of a well-organized political
minority to skew politics in Utah. A sizable portion of Utahns are fed up with
their political system being hijacked by extremists. This sentiment is also
manifested by poor election turnout rates.-Similarly, the
Legislature's composition is considerably to the right of the average
Utahn, and through heavy-handed Gerry-mandering, the political representatives
in the Legislature and in Congress are "highly leveraged" to compound
the narrowing majorities in Utah.Herbert knows that he's the
governor of *all* Utahns, not just those who are in the Republican party
structure, or those who aspire to pull Utah even more to the right than it
There is another option that everyone overlooks. If scholarships were offered
to deserving doctors and nurses in exchange for six years of "social"
healthcare with a wage similar to a captain in the military, those who now
receive Medicaid could receive necessary care. More doctors would enter the
system. With six years of practice, they would be more valuable for private
practice after fulfilling their requirements. Everyone benefits. The State
would pay less than it pays now. Washington would be kept out of Utah. Those
who cannot afford insurance would receive help.We must never trade
freedom for security. Never! God gave us agency. It is the greatest gift that
can be given. Those who would trade that gift for "potage" deserve
nether freedom nor security. They have sold themselves and their children to
"If you say we are already paying higher taxes because of Obamacare, it will
only get worse if we sign onto the expansion. Just let Obamacare collapse of its
own accord and stay away from the expansion."Why would it get
worse with expansion? We are already paying for it right now. If anything, costs
become lower because more people will receive treatment and become healthier. If
anything, fewer bankruptcies will occur because people will actually be covered
when illness hits. If anything, the economy improves because people aren't
stuck paying outrageous prices by those insurance shark agencies. If
single payer systems drove up costs then why are all of them cheaper than ours?
Why are Americans spending twice as much on their "market based" system
while so many other countries are spending less on single payer systems?One can make a case about health care rationing with single payer
systems but they cannot win when it comes down to costs.
@Joemamma Let's not forget that Utah receives $1.07 from the Feds for
every tax dollar UT sends to Washington. Extending health coverage to the poor
is a very important issues that needs to be addressed and it is the Christian
thing to do.
"mega costly emergency rooms" ? Why hasn't the
"affordable" component been addressed? What justification is there for
an emergency room being more expensive than a drop-in clinic, a same day MD
visit (considering that so many of these are within screaming distance of a
Is there a religious reason to oppose expansion of Medicaid to all, like in
Great Britain or Canada? Is it in opposition to God's plan or will? Is it a
violation of our agency - any more than requiring us to drive in a designated
lane or obey a speed limit? I don't understand DN"s opposition. Please
enlighten me. Should we have public education?
@Sal "Just let Obamacare collapse of its own accord and stay away from the
expansion." You obviously haven't considered the consequences for
Utah's medically indigent. Just keep it up, Sal, if you want real
socialist solutions. These needs will be met one way or another.
This is a well reasoned editorial. I hope the legislature sees its wisdom.
Thank you very much.
AMEN to this editorial!!! The Deseret News editorial board has clearly outlined
a variety of reasons why the Medicaid Expansion makes sense for Utah. Governor
Herbert is onboard and now we need the Legislature to get onboard. Please write
to your legislators and ask them to support the Medicaid Expansion and ask them
to use their influence to encourage their colleagues to also support the
Medicaid Expansion in Utah!
What is Herbie waiting for?Gayle's and Paul's
permission?Do what is right and let the consequences follow. I get
so tired of our government being hostage to special interest.
Expanding is foolishness for so many reasons. The most practical is that the
federal government can't afford to continue its support and soon the cost
will shift entirely to the states. Secondarily, there are few physicians
willing to treat this population do to their propensity to sue if they
don't have the desired outcome.
Reject the Medicaid expansion!"We pay too much in taxes and
should recoup some of that by getting into that free Medicaid deal" the
editorial argues.Uhh, that is EXACTLY the trap which has been set
for gullible folks. They see the bait (the funds up front if you take the
deal). But, they ignore the trap which will destroy you in the long run (the
fact that the federal funds will steadily decrease, leaving the stat stuck
FOREVER with huge added costs and mandates.The medicaid expansion is
a bad idea, a bad deal, and its implementation and details are just like every
other Obama program- badly flawed and aimed only at winning political points,
not solving problems.Reject the Medicaid expansion!
Even considering Utah's conservative and stridently anti-federal culture,
this is a sensible approach forward. As the rocky start to the
federal healthcare market site fades into the rearview mirror, and especially
considering that sufficient numbers of enrollees have joined to make the
financial model sustainable, it's less and less of an option to try and
kill ACA, particularly as the benefits start to be felt by millions.It's inhumane and political extremism to punish poorer Utahns simply to
score political points against Obama.ACA will need to be modified -
does Utah want to be a constructive part of that process, or simply be defiant
obstructionists, much like Patrick Henry tried - in vain - to kill the creation
of the US Constitution?
The Deseret News' argument here seems akin to the father who said
"well, your irresponsible mother went out and bought a flat-panel TV we
can't afford, and as long as we're paying for that we may as well buy
a boat, too". This "prudence and self-sufficiency be hanged, let's
get while the getting's good" mentality is unbecoming to the
institution that sponsors the Deseret News.We need a new national
Great Seal. Rather than an eagle it should depict fifty half-grown piglets, all
scrambling for a place at the teats of an enormous but emaciated sow.
How dumb can we be!!By accepting the medicaid expansion you will be
saddling Utah with more medicaid expenses down the road. if we accept the
federal government's money we'll be obligated to continue providing
the medicaid care even after the federal government pulls our their financial
help in a few years.The obamacare system was set up to cause this effect
and we're falling for it.DO NOT EXPAND MEDICAID!!! It's a trap..
If you say we are already paying higher taxes because of Obamacare, it will only
get worse if we sign onto the expansion. Just let Obamacare collapse of its own
accord and stay away from the expansion.
There is a lot of sketchy math, and twisted logic in this editorial, but the
simple truth is that Medicaid, through the ACA, will bring healthcare and
preventative measures to 50,000 of Utah's poor adults. Some of whom have
never had regular quality healthcare.This will actually SAVE Utah
money by heading off more serious health problems, and by keeping these people
out of the mega costly emergency rooms.After a slow start the
dreaded OBAMACARE has been picking up steam, with over 3.3 million people
signing up to date. It's about time for conservatives to jump on board and
use their collective genius to perfect the ACA, not just vilify it!