Comments about ‘In our opinion: In prudently expanding Medicaid, Utah can be a model for the nation’

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Published: Wednesday, March 5 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

I appreciate the position taken here by the Deseret News. I differ from the D-News in that I wanted the big profit-driven insurance business out of American health care altogether. Obama and you saw fit to leave it in place. So we have to make the best of it.

Obama has shown himself to be a very reasonable man, and he is likely to give Governor Herbert what he wants. Let's get on with it.

As an aside, I think the president is being uncommonly good-natured in playing ball with a state which will give him nothing but vilification in return. This shows he overwhelmingly means well.

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

With the expansion of Medicaid as a single payer program, what then is the purpose of Obamacare? It can not be to provide healthcare insurance to the poor since we already have Medicaid. The only answer is wealth re-distribution. To force millions to work for that which they will not receive so others can receive what they did not work for. We once fought a civil war to end some people being forced to work for that which they will not receive so others may receive without working didn't we?

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

Re: Thid Barker "With the expansion of Medicaid as a single payer program, what then is the purpose of Obamacare? " The purpose of Obamacare is to extend health care benefits to those currently uninsured, while at the same time preserving the private health insurance business.

The ACA extends coverage help to those above the poverty level - the working near poor. Wealth redistribution - sure. That's what socialism is about. That's what we did when we rescued the banking business in 2008-2009. Now there was (and is) wealth redistribution! Reciprocity and redistribution is the foundation of all civilization.

dalefarr
South Jordan, Utah

"We applaud the leaders of the House...We thank the the members of the Senate" I don't. Expanding medicaid to cover the poor by using our federal taxes is by far and away the best solution. There are problems with the ACA but expanding medicaid isn't one of them.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

On monday I happened to be in the triage area of a local ER where I overheard the conversation between the staff and an elderly gentlemen who turns out had cancer. He had been dropped off by his family at the ER as he had not been able to eat in 3 days. The staff was doing their best to stabilize him and make him comfortable.

As it turns out this was not this mans first visit. Since he lacks proper insurance, and a regular primary care provider, the best his family was able to do was when he got bad, drop him off at ER, where he would get stabilizing services, and then released back out to his family for care. There was no ongoing management of his care except for that which he is receiving through ER services.

I am not sure what the final version of US health care will be, but the current system, with or without Obamacare is broken. No human should have to spend their finals days fighting cancer the way this man was.

E Sam
Provo, UT

"Prudently expanding Medicaid." Translation: we don't really want to help ALL the poor people, do we? Of course not!

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "UtahBlueDevil" and what would the difference be if the old man had an Obamacare plan? Do you really think that the family can pay for the deductable or the medications and services not covered by the insurance?

Or, if we followed the idea of Universal Care, there would be no question what would happen. According to the architechs of the ACA, that man would be made comfortable, and receive minimal care until he died.

Rather than looking for government solutions, why not look for ways to boost charitable hospitals in your community? If there was a charitable hospital, he could have received proper care.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

That all makes sense . . . except for your expectation that the Utah Legislature would support "a sensible expansion of Medicaid."

In a state dominated by anti-government sentiment, willfully misinformed politicians, and unworkable Right Wing ideology, how can you expect something sensible to come from the state legislature?

In a state dominated by the Tea Party . . . WHERE is all that "sense" supposed to be coming from?

You might well ask for Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny for support too. It would be just as reasonable.

There is no such thing as a sensible state legislature in a Tea-Party-dominated state.

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

@Redshirt1701 "Rather than looking for government solutions, why not look for ways to boost charitable hospitals in your community? If there was a charitable hospital, he could have received proper care." We know from long experience this does not work, especially for the chronically ill. The only really effective solution is socialized care like in Norway or France. The ACA pales by comparison, but it is better than what we've been through.

The people will not endure substandard care forever.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

Redshirt.... peoples health care delivery should not be subject to the whims of charitable giving.

You ask what the difference would be. This chap could have regular treatment, not this yo-yo style where you run cycles of his health crashing to the point of an ER admittance, then back to nothing, until he crashes again. This is the most expensive method of delivering care.... the cost of delivery to him would be fractional to what an ER admittance currently is.

The ER should not be anyones main source of care.... but that is what we have for many. And I would hope that should anyone you know have cancer - that their pain treatment and management was not dependent on the charitable giving of those around them.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

What disturbs me is the rights distinction between "charitable" welfare and "government" welfare.

"Charitable" is good and "government" is bad...really bad.

Rather than viewing government as an extension of ourselves, and taxes as a way to fund that extension they view government as their opponent and taxes as stealing. I have to admit this strikes me as not only very inefficient but almost schizophrenic.

Looking at government as "us" does not make everything government does right or good. Just as not every thing "charities" do is right or good. The difference is you are a part of society compelled by your citizenship to participate, so it would be far more efficient to let society take care of it's own and for the right to help find ways to do it efficiently, rather than constantly trying to strip the government of services and transferring those services to sub organizations of society.

RedShirtMIT
Cambridge, MA

To "marxist" actually charitable hospitals have worked, and continue to work today.

The Shriner's Hospitals are recognized as some of the best children's hospitals in the nation. They are non-profit charitable hospitals, and only once regulations began to kill them did they start to accept any insurance policies.

LDS Hospital in SLC was a charitable hospital until they were regulated into becomeing a for profit hospital.

ST. Marks Hospital in SLC was a charitable hospital until they were regulated into becomeing a for profit hospital.

Primary Children's Hospital was a charitable hospital until they were regulated into becomeing a for profit hospital.

Charitable hospitals have and do work until government regulates them to death.

To "UtahBlueDevil" you are wrong. Huntsman Cancer institute provides some charitable cancer treatments. The man you describe would have received treatment through the generosity of others. If you want to see what happens under universal care, look to England. The NHS is known for denying treatment and medications for older cancer patients. If you go the universal care route you will eventually end up with a system like the NHS in England.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

Redshirt... my dad who is in his late 70s just moved back to the US from Hook England - after living there for 20 years. I know for a fact he doesn't share your experiences with NHS... you do have experience with NHS, don't you? You have first hand, or even relatives that have used the system... your speaking from experience, right?

Didn't think so. You just can't make sweeping statements that cancer care is better here than there. In some cancers like Breast - the US has a better mortality rate then the UK. But others such as Liver cancer - your chance of surviving your cancer in the UK is nearly 30% better. Lung Cancer... France is a better bet than the US with a mortality rate for that cancer close to half of ours, despite the fact they smoke like chimney's over there, and pay half as much for care as we do.

Broad, sweeping statements really prove nothing. All or nothing statements are also nearly useless... there is good, and bad, in all systems.

RedShirtMIT
Cambridge, MA

To "UtahBlueDevil" read the headlines coming out of England. Read the following and tell me if there is a problem with the NHS:

"Lottery of NHS drugs punishes the dying" Telegraph

"Breast cancer sufferers denied two drugs on NHS" Telegraph

"Children denied life-saving cancer drugs" Telegraph

"Kidney cancer patients 'denied life-saving drugs'" ITV

"How NHS doctors deny life-saving cancer drugs to over-70s" Express

"New NHS drugs policy could see elderly denied treatment" The Independant

"Third Of Kidney Cancer Patients 'Denied Life-Extending Drugs'" UK Huffington Post

"'Welsh NHS patients denied cancer drug funding'" BBC

"Cancer patients denied vital drugs" Sunday Post

"British NHS Abandoning Elderly Patients, Denying Them Cancer Treatment" Life News

"Nuclear test veteran says he was 'left to rot' after being refused new NHS cancer treatment" Mirror

"Patients denied key treatments due to NHS cost-cutting, surgeons warn" the Guardian

There are more, and if you start to look at more diseases that hit the elderly, the NHS does little more than give them asprins for brain tumors.

After you read those, can you honestly tell me that there is not a problem in the UK with the NHS?

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

Redshirt… common on…. I could make just as good of a list of article about the US health care system. Please. Do you want a list of articles about where US health insures would not pay for new or what they call experimental treatments? This is silly….

"Cancer Patient Says Insurer, Medical Group Denied Him Life-Saving Treatment" LAtimes

"Challenging a health insurer's decision to deny medical care" LA Times

"Insurance companies refuse to pay medical bills of Old Bridge woman injured in wrong-way crash" NJ.com

"Doctor Refuses To Treat 200-Pound Woman Because Of Her Weight" Chapel Hill Care News

….. I could keep posting many more…. and it would prove nothing. Name a country…. I'll find articles that complain about anything. Data… that is what tells the real truth about the results in care. The UK, with 63 million people covered.. it just isn't that hard to find cases where things went wrong - just like the states with 300 million. Name anything, I'll find people who complain about it in the media.

RedShirtMIT
Cambridge, MA

To "UtahBlueDevil" that is wrong. You are comparing Apples to exotic sports cars.

You are finding problems with individual companies, they are not problems with the system.

The articles that I have listed are problems with the system. The NHS, the entire healthcare system in England, is causing those problems.

That is the advantage of not having a socialized system. Problems are locallized to individual companies.

Again, your problems are with individual companies, not the SYSTEM. Other than government regulations killing insurance companies, there are no systemic problems.

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