In our opinion: Expanding Medicaid


Return To Article
  • SLCounty4Life Midvale, UT
    Nov. 8, 2014 2:08 p.m.

    "principled pragmatism" is not the words I would use to describe Obamacare expansion.

  • John Jackson Sandy, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 3:33 p.m.

    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.

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 10:10 p.m.

    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.

  • emtbrady Farmington, UT
    Feb. 18, 2014 3:41 p.m.


    "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.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Feb. 18, 2014 10:09 a.m.

    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 coverage?

  • Liberty For All Cedar, UT
    Feb. 18, 2014 5:24 a.m.

    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.

  • Interloper Portland, OR
    Feb. 17, 2014 1:53 p.m.

    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.

  • Kim Cedar Park, Texas
    Feb. 17, 2014 8:06 a.m.

    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.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Feb. 17, 2014 7:44 a.m.

    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.

  • shuttdlrl Smith River, CA
    Feb. 17, 2014 7:36 a.m.

    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 .

  • PM64 Orem, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 2:24 a.m.

    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.

  • Interloper Portland, OR
    Feb. 16, 2014 11:12 p.m.

    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.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 8:37 p.m.

    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.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 16, 2014 5:55 p.m.

    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.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 3:01 p.m.

    "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.

  • mcdugall Murray, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 1:28 p.m.

    @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.

  • OlderGreg USA, CA
    Feb. 16, 2014 12:09 p.m.

    "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)?

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    Feb. 16, 2014 12:07 p.m.

    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?

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 12:05 p.m.

    @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.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 11:44 a.m.

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

  • jean22 Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 11:01 a.m.

    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!

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 10:56 a.m.

    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.

  • BO Holladay, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 10:53 a.m.

    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.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 9:13 a.m.

    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!

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 9:11 a.m.

    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?

  • Doug S Lindon, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 9:07 a.m.

    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.

  • Joemamma W Jordan, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 8:20 a.m.

    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..

  • Sal Provo, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 7:17 a.m.

    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.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    Feb. 16, 2014 6:56 a.m.

    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!