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Comments about ‘Utah’s financial model should not include Medicaid expansion’

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Published: Sunday, March 9 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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Ralph West Jordan
Taylorsville, UT

The Writer says "Those supporting Medicaid expansion should look to Financial Ready Utah for more guidance on how to reduce dependence on money controlled by bureaucrats thousands of miles away". Williams and Lockhart make a great pair! Hooray for the haves and to bad for the have nots! Even if the Feds cut off funding in the future, at least the recipients would get some immediate relief as opposed to nothing at all! The money is there, money paid by we the taxpayers, if we don't accept it others will. Time to put our political ideology and dislike for the Fed. Govt. and or the POTUS aside and do what is morally and compassionately right. Expand Medicaid!

Wonder
Provo, UT

And so what are the great solutions you have in mind? Give some specifics.

cmsense
Kaysville, UT

What a partisan hackjob of distortions with no real solutions offered other than go beg for charity care and die or go bankrupt trying to get care if you are too poor. I'm sure the federal gov. is going to back down on the medicaid expansion funds just like they are medicare and social security etc... yea right. Lets just try and frighten everyone. With what Lockhart wants to spend on ipads we could fund Utahs share of full expansion for years or for the cost of a single F-35 we could fund it close to a decade. No matter, because health insurance is not a big deal. That's why I'm sure all the William's and Lockhart's of the world don't have health insurance for their families and that;s why they think its no big deal not to help the over 100,000 Utahns this would effect, because according to this article medicaid didn't effect their health anyways positively, despite going to ER more and I'm sure they all went to the ER for runny noses and just wasted everyone's resources.
Lets have a more reasoned approach like Romney in Mass.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

The only reason these people don't like Medicaid is that they hate Obama. Hatred is a poor basis for policy.

The Hammer
lehi, utah

Medicaid is not good healthcare. It was designed for people in dire circumstances (young poor families having babies, disabled and elderly). Medicaid is not a program to cover everyone. The program has severe problems with abuse and fraud. It contributes to healthcare cost inflation when it is used beyond its original scope (i.e. Massachusetts, Romneycare).

So there are reasons why people are worried about accepting it beyond the liberal mantra. The way it was passed through congress and the abuse of power by Democrats didn't help. Laws of this nature should be bipartisan and should include all stakeholders and no one thought to include our Governors or state legislators in the conversation when it was passed.

Lastly, this article articulates very important concerns about our nation's fiscal health. We have already seen when government needs to tighten its belt it doesn't cut entitlements which make up 1/2 of the budget, it cuts payments which go to the states. Because of the controversy around Medicaid expansion, those payments would likely be at risk. Let's stop fooling ourselves and be reasonable about what risks our state faces with expansion.

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

"The only thing as certain as death and taxes is the government’s inability to pay its bills." What nonsense! When has Federal government defaulted?

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

The writer makes a case for federalism, but he in no way tells us how the gap in health care is going to be filled. There are thousands upon thousands of Americans who can't get predictable care, especially important for treatment of chronic disease. When reading the article I realized that there was a really big issue missing. What's missing? Answer: a recognition of the enormous shift of wealth to those at the top of the economy occasioned by stagnant real wages at the middle class level.

Until some balance is re-established in the economy, until the wealth distributions of the 1950's return, American capitalism will founder and there will be no solution to our health coverage gap. If we want market based solutions to health care, there must be some sort of functioning health care market which can only happen if there is purchasing power in the middle class.

Neither the Obama administration nor the guy who wrote this article understand this fact. But I fear the track being followed by American capitalism takes us away from an economically robust middle class. In which case only socialism can save us.

Utah Health Policy Project
Salt Lake City, UT

This op-ed misstates several facts about a Private Option Medicaid expansion:

-Claiming that uninsured people (some with health problems) would be better served by remaining uninsured defines humane logic.
-Last year Gov. Jan Brewer (R) in Arizona (not a liberal state or governor) decided to Expand Medicaid. To explain her decision, he said "You have to do the math."
-If you earn $10,000 a year, you can't afford private insurance that costs $3,000 a year. Medicaid isn't crowding out private insurance, it's providing coverage to low-income, uninsured Utahns.
-The 2008 Oregon study pre-dated their move to Accountable Care (which Utah has now). More recent data shows significant cost-savings in OR Medicaid.
-The Private Option lets insurers compete on price, consumers choose their insurance plans, and providers to get private-market reimbursements. Sounds like a free market.
-The "Chicken Little" attitude by Financial Ready Utah and others ignores the legal "circuit breaker" that allows Utah to stop the program if the federal funding decreases.
-Be wary of any organization that 1) Wants to sell you gold bars and survival supplies, 2) Writes an op-ed about Medicaid that never mentions Utah doctors, hospitals, or consumers.

RFLASH
Salt Lake City, UT

We do need Medicaid! You know what this comes ddown to? The people who are against the expansion of medicaid, are the ones that have been against Obamacare from the very beginning! These are the people who been against every single thing our president has done and they do anything possible to see that he fails! It is hard to even read this stuff! How can any of us trust people who have done absolutely nothing to improve things in this country,yet they will do what it takes to make Obama fail, and if that means harming those in need, then so be it. Conservatives seem to care less and less about those who are in need. Why should we take their advice?
There is no good reason not to take funding that is set aside for our state! I can't believe the rediculous ways in which people try to make up excuses for doing something that is, to say it lightly, DUMB! Do people even wear CTR rings anymore? Choose The Right! Don't try and tell us that it will be helping people by turning away these funds!

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