Published: Friday, Feb. 28 2014 8:45 a.m. MST
Half measures. I have a better idea. Accept the Medicaid expansion money. Do
2% of their monthly income.Woudlnt that be nice if all we paid was
2% of our monthly income for health insurance.Personal
responsibility. It starts and ends there. Its not Romney's,
barack's, or Gary Herbert's responsibility to ensure someone has
health insurance. Its their responsibility.
I think it is essential to accept the federal money, so I applaud the governor
to sticking to his stance. If the money isn't spent in Utah, Utah tax
payers will not see any savings, it will just be spent in other states. So Utah
should claim all the money they can from the federal government when it comes to
the affordable care act.However, I'm unclear if we should spend
so much effort and Utah tax dollars customizing the way the federal money will
be spent in Utah, why not just accept the medicaid plan? I guess if we
customize the plan in the way the governor suggests it might lead to other
states taking more personal ownership in health care and lead to less federal
spending on healthcare overtime. I'm not sure where my opinion lies
between a custom Utah plan vs expanding medicaid.
Missing from this article was Herbert's mention how flexible President
Obama was in their discussion. According to the Govenor, BO told him that if he
has a better way for him to do it in Utah he is open to that and would work with
him. Now that's not mentioned here because heaven forbid a
Republican can publicly admit how cordial and compromising our President is.
When it comes to health care you have one party committed to action,improvement
and inclusion and another party committed to exclusion. Good luck Govenor as
the real battle on health care is going to be within your own party and not with
BO and the fed's.
I agree with Governor Herbert that the state can do much more with the same
amount (or less) than the federal government can. I still can't believe how
much micro-management the ACA entails. Why didn't the feds just say,
"Look, the law of the land is that every state has to provide care for all
of it's poorest citizens. Make it happen. If you don't, you
temporarily lose seats in the House of Reps. If you would like our help in
getting started, here's a blueprint you can look at. Now get to work!"
Instead, the money to be used has very specific strings attached, which make
more of a spider web than a safety net.
The difference between Gov Herbert's plan and the ACA is that the ACA
provides competitive health exchanges while the gov's plan pumps money into
the expensive private sector we have now--plans that let insurance companies
deny service and up costs with none of the restraints of the ACA.This
plan's sliding scale, yet-to-be-revealed conditions, and its inability to
set up exchanges will prompt the feds to just say NO.
Instead of spending all of the money on those that need it, Herbert wants to
give some to the insurance agents, underwriters,and other campaign
contributors.@Chris B So if they have jobs that don't pay very
well, just let them die quietly, that's what they get for not having good
paying jobs. Of course we can't raise the minimum wage so they could have
the money to pay for insurance.
mcclarkSure lets raise the minimum wage, but we'll raise the
cost of insurance(and everything else) to pay for that increase in costs
The number one reason healthcare costs so much is because Americans are terrible
healthcare consumers. "Oh! We have insurance. We don't have to worry
about costs." The money still, ultimately, comes out of your pocket. Here
is the most resent example from our family. Quoting my wife: Went
to Harmon Labs for 6 blood tests. It is an independent, one-woman show; been in
business for 30 years; she charges what she considers to be fair. Total bill: $85Earlier, as I checked out from the doc's
office with my lab orders in hand, they offered to make an appointment for me at
their lab across the hall. I declined. Later, out of curiosity, I decided to
call to see how much it would have been. First of all, no one can answer that
question right off the bat. I even pulled rank ("This is Dr. * . . . ").
You have to leave a message and someone will call you back. The lady who
returned my call was not sure if there would be an additional pathology
"reading" charge. Here are their charges, FOR THE SAME TESTS:Lab draw fee: $25CBC: $98A1C: $176Lipase: $97TSH:
$266CMP: $343Lipids: $164Total: $1169 *May require
additional fee for pathology
@Stop the Nonsense"Look, the law of the land is that every state has
to provide care for all of it's poorest citizens. Make it happen. If you
don't, you temporarily lose seats in the House of Reps. "Because that would be incredibly blatantly unconstitutional.
atl: and somehow forcing people to purchase insurance or pay a significant fine
-- er, tax -- isn't?
Herbert's way is better than Lockhart's way, worse than expanding the
As a raging liberal (Jesus was one, too!), I'm not that happy with the ACA.
For one thing, it cuts the insurance companies in for a 20% profit right off
the top of all healthcare costs. Considering what they do, versus what the
hospitals, doctors, nurses and pharmacies do, I just don't see how the
insurers warrant 20 cents out of every dollar.Medicare and Medicaid,
in contrast, administer healthcare for a total overhead of something like 2 or
3%, which seems noticeably more efficient.The best system of all,
though, in my opinion, is the National Health Service in the UK. They
completely take the profit motive and insurance paperwork out of healthcare, and
deliver better care than most Americans ever get for a fraction of the
per-patient cost. Doctors get a decent salary, med students get their tuition
paid, patients get seen and treated with no premiums or copays, and
statistically better outcomes. Plus, uniform professional standards and
supervision don't allow the kind of nonsense we sometimes see here in
"Medicaid mills." The "choice" our "system"
gives us is often illusory, a choice between unknown quantities.
Baloney. We want our tax money back. All of it. Please, Governor, stop playing
these silly games and expand Medicaid. Why should we use any of that money to
prop up the middlemen in the private insurance market? They would be adding
absolutely no value at all.
I agree with you, A Quaker, but remember that the ACA was a compromise.
Universal, single payer coverage with insurance companies cut out of the mix is,
of course, the only sensible way to deliver health care to a population, but the
lobbyists in Washington and Big Business's ability to buy misleading
publicity to convince people to vote against their own best interests have
brought us to this place - where, for some odd reason, we turn over 20 percent
(or more) of our healthcare dollars to insurance executives so they can get
richer. There is no other reason to have them in the equation. None
whatsoever. Any citizen who does not insist on single payer universal coverage
has been convinced of some untruths and votes against their own best interests.
Frustrating to watch, isn't it? And that lab in Illinois - Harmon
Labs? There is more to that story, I will guarantee you that. That's a
classic 'too good to be true' situation if I ever heard one. They
might be somewhat cheaper than other labs, but those numbers cited in the letter
simply cannot be correct.
"The Affordable Care Act created a gaping hole in Utah's safety
net." While I agree with Gov Herberts stance on this issue in general(which
is weird for me) I'm trying to figure out how the ACA resulted in people
making 15,000 a year or less losing insurance. Those people never had insurance,
with that salary there is no way to afford it. It seems to me that the ACA is
(gasp) helping people who couldn't afford insurance get it, and in the long
run that will help ALL of us by helping reduce healthcare costs at the hospital.
Because the way it was meant that anytime you went to the hospital you were
paying for your services, plus all of the uninsured people the hospital had to
help, but never got paid for.
Utah can't do it better than the Federal government. Ask anyone on Medicare
and Medicaid. If our legislature wants to refuse Federal money
"on principle" then let them lose their healthcare, on principle.
Kate: the real brain washing is thinking that we need insurance at all or big
brother in Washington holding our hand. PS don't doubt my ability to be a
good healthcare consumer. Recent gallbladder surgery in our family? Quotes
from 3 hospitals just for use of their facility -- not to cover physician &
anesthesiologist -- $10500. Spoke with the surgeon who arranged out-patient
surgery at day-surgery facility. Total cost for facility, surgeon,
anesthesiologist, pathology =$3600 paid upfront on day of surgery. A Quaker: Medicare administrative costs may be significantly lower, but so are
reimbursement rates. Quick example, due to the nature of what she does, my wife
sees only one patient per day. She needs to clear $800 per day to break even in
her small private medical practice. Medicare pays $575 for her services,
leaving the patient to pay a copayment of $125. Yes, the math is simple. She
loses money on every Medicare patient she sees. That is the case for almost
every physician/healthcare provider/health facility when it comes to Medicare.
And in Illinois, Medicaid doesn't cover the service she performs at all.
@metamoracoug:I'm puzzled by the Medicare example you give. I
thought Medicare prohibited balance billing to patients. I also
wonder about this: when you call around to decrease medical costs, you consider
yourself to be a prudent consumer. But when Medicare takes action to decrease
medical costs, it's a bad thing, apparently. I want my doctors
and other healthcare professionals to be highly compensated.
Will Utah lead the way? Can it?
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