Comments about ‘In our opinion: Expanding Medicaid’

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Published: Sunday, Feb. 16 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

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!

Provo, UT

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.

W Jordan, UT

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.

Doug S
Lindon, UT

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.

Bountiful, UT

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?

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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!

Holladay, UT

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.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

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.

Bountiful, UT

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!

Salt Lake City, UT

This is a well reasoned editorial. I hope the legislature sees its wisdom. Thank you very much.

Salt Lake City, UT

@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.

Sugar City, ID

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?


"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 hospital)?

Murray, UT

@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.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

"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.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

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 the government.

Bountiful, UT

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 already is.

Portland, OR

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.

Orem, UT

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.

Smith River, CA

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 costs .

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