Comments about ‘My view: Utah should heed Arkansas’ buyer’s remorse on Medicaid expansion’

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Published: Tuesday, May 6 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

Somehow I think we are getting one side here. The Arkansas legislature, in spite of what Senator King says, approved the Arkansas medicaid plan for a second year. According to Governor Beebe "failing to renew funding for the state's alternative Medicaid expansion plan would result in a $90 million gap in the state budget that would have to be balanced by other program cuts."

So there is a big difference between the Democratic governor and Senator King, who is no doubt a Republican. I wonder if the Deseret News would accept a Democratic version of the doings in Arkansas?

Here, UT

Why do conservatives hate Americans so much they'd rather see them sick and dead than provide health care?

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

"By one estimate, the cost overruns of the Private Option are projected to cost Arkansas taxpayers between $6.6 million and $16.6 million"

After reading this doom and gloom article I was feeling sorry for Arkansas. After all they were facing total economic collapse because of Obamacare. Then I realized that in the worse case scenario Arkansas with have to pay an extra $16.6 million, out of their state budget of $22,000,000,000!

And don't forget this will take insure that about 105,000 uninsured Arkansonians get healthcare coverage!

Springville, UT

This is partisan drivel. So, did you see that Massachusetts has seen an enormous improvement in the health of its citizens since the passage of Romneycare, the parent of Obamacare? Better access to medical care, which both programs help happen, does matter.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

why do liberals hate productive people so much?

Why do liberals think government is the one and only answer to every problem?

Conervatives contribute more time and money to charitable causes than liberals ever dreamed of. Conservatives give thier OWN resorurces - they do not DEMAND someone ELSE's reaources be taken and spent the way liberals think they should be spent.

JUST SAY NO to medicaid expansion.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The problem faced by both Arkansas and Utah is that they're trying to design a program that Republican politicians can claim is not really Obamacare. It would work much better if they would just accept the Medicaid expansion the way the program was designed.

Bountiful, UT

Lost in DC:

Physicians interviewed in Massachusetts said part of the reason health statistics have improved there is because many of their patients are not agonizing over the financial impact of getting healthcare, either what it will do to their personal finances or how their treatment might impact charitable sources.

What would you advise the family of a child with leukemia to do? If they look for charitable help it would prevent that source from helping others, and if they take on the burden themselves they may lose their house.

I can see how some folks resort to prayer and just hope the problem goes away, like the Wisconsin couple who prayed and prayed while their child died unnecessarily of diabetes.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Of course NOW it makes sense to accept the FREE money. But Utah is smart. We are looking ahead a few years (not just at what brings us the most Federal dollars TODAY)!

In a few years... when Arkansas has the same expanded medicaid liabilities... and the Federal money is gone... and they have huge budget shortfalls (and have to take money from Education, roads, police, fire, etc... to fund this now UNFUNDED liability... we'll probably see letters in Arkansas newspaper saying, "We should have heeded Utah's fiscal foresight and commitment to living within their means, and not taken the bait to expand our medicaid system to levels we can't sustain".

And articles in the DesNews like "Utah is lucky they didn't take the short-term $$$ bait to Expand Medicaid in Utah"... because we can continue to fund our schools, police, roads, and even the people in Utah on Medicaid... While States that took the bait... are on the hook now... and have to pass NEW TAXES, or kick people off medicaid now.

The $$$ is bait. If you take it.. you must increase State Taxes when obamamoney ends.

Utah Health Policy Project
Salt Lake City, UT

Here's a couple of responses to Sen. King's op-ed.

-The senator mentions the word "Obamacare" eight times in the first several paragraphs. His advisers told him it's a scary word, but I don't think he understands what it means. Obamacare is private insurance with subsidies to make it more affordable. During the last 6 months 84,601 Utahns purchased "Obamacare" private insurance on Not so scary.

-The "Obamacare Medicaid dollars" he mentions are YOUR tax dollars. These are tax dollars you are paying right now--about $4 million a month--that are leaving Utah to fund insurance coverage in other states. He's trying to scare us again.

-One reason Arkansas is paying more is because private insurance companies found a loophole to charge higher premiums for Silver-level plans and have the state and feds pick up the tab. Utah can learn from Arkansas and prevent this corruption from happening.

-The senator is right that private insurance costs more than traditional Medicaid. But it's the only plan that can get approved by the legislature.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT


what would you advise the family that has to get their child to school and they are agonizing over the cost of the car because the bus route does not work for them? I guess we should force everyone to buy cars, and if they cannot afford them, we should subsidize them. And they cannot buy a compact or - heaven forbid! a SUBcompact! No!, they MUST by at least a midsize, whether they want or need that large a car at all. And then what about the cost of fuel for that car later on? Oh, we'll worry about that later on, or issue an executive order or something.

Did our healthcare payment system need fixing? did it need some work? One could reasonably make that argument. Too bad we got Obamacare instead of a fix.

Physicians in MA have a financial interest in the outcomes, so I would view their comments with a grain of salt. Friend I have from Boston HATES MA-Care, talks about all the fraud it has generated.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I wonder if it will be States like Arkansas that have buyers remorse in a few years (when the federal funding ends) not Utah...


I wonder if the people in those States will be upset when they have to either raise their taxes... or kick some people off Medicaid when the bait-funding ends???

I wonder if the people in Utah, who got insurance through the exchanges, and can continue that insurance after the federal-medicaid-expansion bait-money dries up... will be upset then. Or if they will wish that we had expanded medicaid with the temp-funding... only to have to kick them off Medicaid in a few years???

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

your description of religion and donations thereto tells us exactly how you fell about so many of your fellow citizens; not that you don't care, you go beyond "not at all".

I'll repoeat what I said earlier, conservatives give more in time, money, and resources than liberals ever dreamed of. Whether or not you agree with the recipients is beside the point. You productively pay taxes - by your own choice? NO. you give to productive causes? I doubt it. I'll take your word for it that you give, but considering the opinions you express on these pages, I will not consider those causes to be productive. See? you can call causes with which you disagree worthless, and I can call to whom you give worthless.

facetious nonsense? only because you disagree. Sorry you do not understand my use of an analogy.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Utah should learn from Arkansas and just get the Medicaid expansion. Don't try to come up with some terrible knock off which provides much less but costs much more.

Aren't we tired of the games? The GOP had no problem giving away our money to rich people, banks, war contractors, and foreign countries. Under Bush, foreign bribery errr aid reached all time levels.

The GOP prefers to give Iraqis and Ukrainians jobs and health care but not Americans.


2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Something interesting... they want us to follow Arkansas... but Arkansas was not listed in USA Today's "Best run States Survey"... Utah was. Hmmmm...

We used to be number 1. Now we're #5. But that's not bad.

It's interesting that 5 "Best Run States" are "Conservative" States (ND, Wyo, Iowa, Neb, Utah).... and all 5 of the "Worst Run States" were "Liberal" States. Weird huh...?

Some interesting statistics...

5. Utah
> Debt per capita: $2,577 (17th-lowest)
> Budget deficit: 8.2% (32nd-largest)
> Unemployment: 5.7% (tied for 10th-lowest)
> Median household income: $57,049 (13th-highest)
> Pct. below poverty line: 12.8% (15th-lowest)

50. California
> Debt per capita: $3,990 (20th-highest)
> Budget deficit: 27.8% (3rd-largest)
> Unemployment: 10.5% (2nd-highest)
> Median household income: $58,328 (11th-highest)
> Pct. below poverty line: 17.0% (18th-highest)

For the third year in a row, California is the worst-run state in America, and Utah is in the top-5.

Interesting isn't it?

Yet it's UTAH that gets criticized (by big government fans) who want UTAH to be more like CALIFORNIA!

I don't get it!

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

Ideology over common sense. The tea party is not designed to govern but to divide.

Kaysville, UT

It only cost Arkansas 16 million? Shoot even Becky Lockheart's plan would spend 33 million and it wouldn't even cover anyone.

The drivel of this article shows what poor arguments there are in not accepting medicaid expansion. The state of Utah would get somewhere between 300 million and 500 million federal dollars that could easily generate that much state taxes, and all at the same time giving needed health insurance, peace of mind, and needed health care to over 100,000 of Utah's neediest residents and families.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

To 2 bits: California's numbers have improved significantly since they got a Democratic governor.

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