Comments about ‘Gov. Herbert faces GOP opposition to special session on Medicaid expansion’

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Published: Wednesday, May 21 2014 6:25 p.m. MDT

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Kings Court
Alpine, UT

Apparently the legislature doesn't care one bit about 140,000 working families, but I can guarantee you that they would meet in a special session to move the prison for just a handful of land developers.

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Lawmakers are wise to be skeptical for several reasons.

First, Obama and his cronies can NOT be trusted. Look at how they ignore laws they do not like, and arbitrarily (without any legal authority to do so) change laws passed by Congress. Even if Obama or his minions agree to something that Gov. Herbert likes, experience shows that there is a very high chance that the terms will be arbitrarily changed, especially if Utah foolishly takes the bait int he Medicaid expansion trap.

Remember, event he large pot of money promised for the first few years is SUPPOSED to decrease in out years. With our nation bankrupt, and antagonizing our Chinese bankers, we should all agree that there will be less and less money to do the "nice to have" stuff that an expansion would do.

Finally, if we must subsidize 138% of the poverty level, why not just make medical care "free!" for everyone always? "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money to spend." We are already broke, so do NOT buy off on any new high cost programs. Instead, we must look at cutting spending!

Fruit Heights, UT

My fed income taxes are paying for Medicaid expansion that is being used by other states. Yeah it's not great but just accept the money.

Salt Lake City, UT

"Lockhart said there is no interest in acting on any plan, not just the governor's proposal to use $258 million in Medicaid expansion money to get private insurance for some 110,000 Utahns earning less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level."

So I guess the 110,000 citizens in scope will have to agree not to get sick until 2015. Sounds easy enough. Is that what nurse Lockhart learned in nursing school? This is cold blooded in the extreme. This and the holding in limbo of recently married gay couples qualifies Utah as one of the most heartless retrograde principalities in the world.

Dave T in Ogden
Ogden, UT

They say a strong nation depends on having strong families. We need new laws to help strengthen families; thus our goal should be to finding ways to keep those families healthy and out of extreme poverty.
Everyone knows when you are sick; unless you have no ability to relate to others, you simply cannot get out of bed or even work. You must spend some money to keep these parent(s) well. The same can be said of how can you raise a family on minimum wage, unless you also cannot relate to others.
As it is known a breadwinner not in the home can lead to extreme family poverty, gang activities and other social problems for their kids. We see reports of gang activities are on the increase, how much can this be traced back to a parent earning less than a living wage. It would be cheaper to subsidize these low wages (and health care costs) in place of incarceration of their kids. Look at the minimum wage and the drug use in Australia; is it coincidence that these families can keep their kids out of poverty and away from drugs?
It looks these laws will ever change.

Cache, UT

Don't do it, Herbert. DN Subscriber is correct. Don't trust the feds and sign up for more socialist garbage. Most doctors won't see Medicaid patients because they will go broke doing so. Just because a person has "coverage" doesn't mean they will be able to have health care from a willing provider.

Has Obama shown that he can direct anything right?

Don't do it.

Kaysville, UT

If Heath and Human Services allows the "Utah" solution just get on with it and decide up or down. The ACA was passed way back in 2010 and I don't think its fair to have the endless debate. That was what last session was supposedly for.

The GOP sure seems up in arms about the 40 vets who tragically died on the waiting list to get into the VA. I'm sure many of those vets also had medicare and could of gone to other facilities. Somehow we are perfectly fine making over 130,000 American's in Utah go without insurance. I'm sure much more than 40 will die and have died waiting to get health insurance so they can even have the opportunity to get in line. Vet and you die =tragic, Poor working Utahns dying because they can't afford health insurance = no rush, we can take our time. I would appreciate some consistency.

Escalante, UT

Oh yeah,rich Utah republicans care about nothing but padding their portfolios..."you poor people don't need health care...just die...what a bother!"

Ron Hilton
Holladay, UT

It's disingenuous for local Democrats like Coroon to criticize the state lawmakers when Obama and the Washington Democrats were responsible for creating this healthcare mess in the first place. Having said that, I agree that we should probably take the federal funds in the short term while we work out a long-term solution. Obamacare did in fact create a gap in coverage for lower middle income families, while also causing premiums to go up at the same time. Hardworking families are in fact suffering through no fault of their own. The Washington Democrats are using them as hostages to get their way with Medicaid expansion. I understand that. But allowing the innocent victims to suffer will only harm our chances of ousting the Democrats in 2014/16. That is the long-term key to solving the problem. We have to go after those who created this mess, not our fellow citizens who have been caught in the crossfire.

salt lake city, utah

"With our nation bankrupt, and antagonizing our Chinese bankers'

We are not bankrupt and not agonizing over Chinese bankers, we primarily owe ourselves our debt.

"if we must subsidize 138% of the poverty level, why not just make medical care "free!" for everyone always? "

Because it's not free to anyone..that's the point. You play you pay. People below a certain will receive help, but generally speaking everyone has to pay. So stop with the free stuff it's a lie.

Kirk R Graves
West Jordan, UT

For those of you in support of this issue, especially those who are saying "just do it", there is a lot more to the story than just free money from the fed.

Most significantly is that the federal money promised is only short term. It is much like the Race to the Top money used as a carrot to get states to adopt Common Core. We will see it for a short while, then it disappears. The federal government wants to invite us to lunch, pay for the beverages (with our money, none the less), then walk away before the rest of the check shows up.

Utah has managed to be a very well run state financially. That is because we are smart enough to know when to spend and when to save. If it doesn't make sense to expand Medicaid without the federal money now, than it doesn't make sense to expand Medicaid with the Fed money either.

Salt Lake City, UT

It is disturbing how little our legislature cares about people in our state! The only reason that they don't want to use thesefunds is because they don't want Obama to have any success with his health care plan! Actually, I think it is disgusting the way they care so little about people in need! As long as they have what they need!

Cedar Hills, UT

Dave T- Minimum wage was never meant to raise a family. If you want to make more than minimum wage, you get educated to do more than flip hamburgers. If you are unwilling to do that, why are you entitled to a higher wage? We are only entitled to opportunities. What we do with those opportunities is our own responsibility, no one else's. I grew up poor and used my opportunities wisely.

As for the inability to afford health insurance, I feel bad for many of these people. Many truly cannot afford it, but at the same time, I saw a patient yesterday with Medicaid who had a newer IPad, an IPhone 5, and Bluetooth headphones around his neck. Not a cheap package of items. How could he afford them if he is so poor he qualifies for Medicaid? People have priorities, and for many paying for health care is not one of them.

My brother in law only makes about $11/hr and has poor health insurance due to a large deductible. If he manages his money right, he can afford all his expenses. It is when he is foolish with his money that he runs into trouble.

Murray, UT

@DN Subscriber - I needed a good laugh this morning. BO ignores laws? What Presidential Administration has not? The Medicaid expansion funds decrease from 100% funding over a period of years to the statutory limit of 90% going henceforth. The nation isn't bankrupt, not sure why you think it is? Do we have a large amount of debt? Yes, Is it currently manageable, Yes. It is optimal, No. But we're certainly not to the point of bankruptcy. Chinese bankers? Well, I'm not sure if you heard but the Chinese government and their agencies are continually divesting from US bonds.The vast majority of the US Government's debts are owned by US citizens, companies, and pension plans. The Chinese government isn't even the largest institutional owner of US debt, they only account for 7%, as of 11/2013, and their holdings continue to decrease. The Margaret Thatcher quote is quite humorous. Socialization is a very complicated issue and the US actively socializes the costs for many services, roads, defense, water, corporate profits, food, energy, why is helping the poor gain access to health care services bad socialism?

Unicorn 2000
Cottonwood Heights, UT

This is what happens when you live in a theocracy that lacks diversity of perspectives and voices in government. We have wealthy people who clearly do not understand the issue or what it is like to struggle with such issues. Think of this, this state invests tens of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars in students like me so we can go to college and improve our ability to earn money. Eventually, God willing, I will be able to get out of school and become both more self-sufficient and more able to contribute to the revenue that allows us to function as a society. However, I still can't afford the health insurance programs that have been made available and so I continue to go without health insurance. College students are overrepresented as people who typically do not have health insurance coverage. It is a funny way to treat such an investmentment and says a great deal about the level of ignorance of our state leaders. We just don't believe in the potential of people or the thing that made us a great nation, each other.

Salt Lake City, UT

@Kirk R Graves
Utah could always take the Medicaid money for now and then just end the expansion when the federal gov't is only funding 90% of it instead of 100%. Or is it just politically easier for you all to never give people insurance instead of taking things away from people a couple years from now?

South Jordan, UT

There is this ever growing perception, even in conservative Utah, that no matter what, getting money from the Feds will solve the problem. And this perception is part of what has gotten to where we are: a crummy economy, everybody's cousin with their hands out for the dole, leaders that have no moral compass, and little accountability at all levels of society.

Truth: the less federal money and the more local money will benefit us all!

boneheaded, but not a smidgen

lots of takers on this posting. doesn't anyone understand that everytime we take money (ours) back from the feds utah and its' people are more beholding to this corrupt fereral government? who do you think is going to pay for this,......our KIDS and Grandkids.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Good, hope there is enough opposition he just bags the idea.

Dave T in Ogden
Expanding Medicaid does not do anything to strengthen families.

It’s wonderful to see how much the legislature DOES care about the people in this state.

Nope, cannot end it once you expand it.

You justify breaking/ignoring laws? Sorry, not a laughing matter.


no perception here. I simply want the money the fed is already taking from me for healthcare back. They are willing, but our legislature won't take it. As a father of a son whose wife and child are caught in the gap, I am more than disappointed in the actions of our politicians. Make no mistake, this is pure politics, and it is making me ill!

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