Comments about ‘Lawmakers warned Gov. Gary Herbert's Medicaid expansion alternative carries 'substantial risk'’

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Published: Wednesday, June 18 2014 11:55 p.m. MDT

Updated: Friday, June 20 2014 7:13 a.m. MDT

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DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

It's a trap! Don't do it.

Liljenquist is right, the growth in the program is inevitable, as will be the decline in federal funding, leaving Utah taxpayers stuck with bills for a program we cannot modify.

Governor Herbert shold not believe any promises made by Obama's Secretary of HHS, as he has repeatedly made major changes to programs (including Obamacare health care) that he has no authority to make. He can change any agreement with Utah the same way and we can do nothing, absolutely nothing, about it at that point.

Don't take the bait from this trap!

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

"Dan Liljenquist, a former state senator, told both the House and Senate Republican caucuses that as many as 400,000 low-income Utahns could end up losing their employer-provided insurance and have to turn to the government."

Keep in mind one of the promises of the ACA was to free employees from having to stick to an undesirable or unsatisfactory job just to keep health coverage. Medicaid expansion allows this freedom. For once it would be wonderful for Utah politicians to look at the world through the little guy/gal's eyes.

Kings Court
Alpine, UT

Since other states have been doing this for two years now, what have they been seeing? Are people losing their employer based health insurance in droves and signing up for Medicaid in droves as this particular politician is predicting? I want to see actual data, not the usual fear-mongering and stonewalling.

cmsense
Kaysville, UT

Sounds like a bunch of fear mongering. Lets get real. And Becky Lockheart may be the next Governor but I highly doubt it. The polls show that over 60% of Utahns want this expansion and lets see if the legislature listens to the will of the people.

At least 90% of the cost will be born by the federal government so we can get some of our tax money back. We have incentivized things like film studios to come to Utah for a much less guaranteed return on investment thats not even in the ballpark of being able to help the most destitute Utahns' plus being a huge stimulus to the economy. The money brought to the state will I'm sure pay for the !0% portion that Utah needs to contribute by increasing tax revenues, so its essentially free money.

And lets be real, the Federal Government won't make the states pay a higher portion of the cost. That will happen when we get rid of medicare or social security or the end of the world, whichever comes first.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

More fear mongering from the right

MaryHthwy
Salt Lake City, UT

Liljenquist is smart and lawmakers are wise to be cautious. No child left behind was widely supported when it was conceived as was UTOPIA - both became HUGE anchors around our necks that we can't get off. Massive policy changes like medicaid expansion will have unintended consequences - I think we should be in NO HURRY to adopt the Governor's massive expansion plan.

Reports on polls are misleading. I read the most recent poll detail - 58% said they had not heard of the Governor's plan so they had to be basing their responses about support of the plan on the 4 sentences in the survey itself describing the plan. THAT IS NOT A GOOD PREDICTOR OF SENTIMENT NOR POLICY SOUNDNESS.

FT
salt lake city, UT

Has there ever been a time in US history where one political party works so hard to promote misery and despair?

jean22
Bountiful, UT

What makes Dan Liljenquist the expert on this topic? He only served 3 years in the Utah State Senate before resigning to run against Orrin Hatch and lost by a 2-1 margin.

Ralph West Jordan
Taylorsville, UT

What a surprise "that means a new plan couldn't be in place until July 1, 2015". That was Herbert's plan along, and in July 2015 it will be, "Oh I really want to get this done by Jan. 2016 but it looks like we will have to study it further". What a joke! Like many of the previous posters it is "Fear Mongering at it's finest" The sky is falling, the sky is falling!

Thousands go without treatment, thousands suffer, and it is probable that many will die or become terminal because their serious illness goes untreated, while these politico's play their pathetic continuing partisan game of punishing the POTUS for ever getting elected.

For the umpteenth time I implore the Guv to man up, just sign on to what the people of the state have already paid for through their taxes . Ignore the fear mongers and the AM talk radio infected rhetoric and do what is compassionate and morally right! I promise you will sleep better!

Utah Health Policy Project
Salt Lake City, UT

Here's some facts in response to former Sen. Liljenquist's comments:
-The Governor's Healthy Utah Plan would cover individuals earning between 0% and 138% of the federal poverty level, that's between $0/year and $15,856/year.
-Somehow Dan Liljenquist believes there are 400,000 Utahns who earn incomes within that range AND get employer-sponsored health insurance. How many workers who earn $12,000 a year get (or can afford) employer-based insurance? Not many in reality...
-Liljenquist is concerned about "crowd out," which means people will leave private insurance for Medicaid. But remember, the Healthy Utah Plan will place most eligible Utahns in subsidized private insurance, not Medicaid (except for the medically frail, homeless).
-As for data, a 2013 survey by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans of 1,000 employers found that fewer than 1% planned to reduce health insurance coverage.
-A 2013 study by the Univ. of Michigan determined that changes in employer-based insurance would range between a decline of 1.8% to an increase of 2.9%.
-Plus, Jackson-Hewitt Tax Service predicted that not closing the coverage gap leaves employers (nationwide) liable for $876 million to $1.3 billion in tax penalties each year.
-UHPP

Linus
Bountiful, UT

It amazes me that there are any Utahns left who still believe the promises of the Obama administration. Have you not figured out that his administration is built upon lies?
And do your really believe that the Federal Government has any money other than yours?
Mitt Romney was wrong! It isn't 47 percent who vote for the gravy train. Its closer to 67 percent.

Ralph West Jordan
Taylorsville, UT

Re: Linus

Thanks for taking a few minutes away from the AM Radio and join us on this thread, we value your opinion!

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Kings Court is right. There should be data from other states that would provide a realistic view of what is likely to happen.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

The position of the legislature is goofy obstructionism.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

“House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo . . . favored bypassing the Medicaid expansion money in favor of using $35 million in state funds for limited coverage.”

Uh huh . . . So $35 million in state funds can provide more and better medical care than $300 million in Federal funds?

Sure it can. If a miracle happens.

Jesus fed thousands of people with five loaves of bread and two fish. But Becky Lockhart and Dan Liljenquist really don’t have those kind of chops, even if they think they do.

“Attaching ourselves as a state to Obamacare is extremely concerning to me . . . "

I understand your concern Ms Lockhart.

After all, for a true “Conservative,” it is much more noble to let Utah citizens sicken and die than it is to accept Federal money that would help them.

Laura Bilington
Maple Valley, WA

MaryHthwy writes, "I think we should be in NO HURRY to adopt the Governor's massive expansion plan."

Tell you what, Mary. If you (and people who agree with you) will agree to ditch the insurance plan you already have and go without coverage until the expansion plan is approved, then you can preach all you want about "caution". Otherwise you're a hypocrite.

Jimmytheliberal
Salt Lake City, UT

@Linus...Apparently you spend your time listening to conservative fear mongering talk radio. Care to mention any facts? In the meantime my confused friend I would be happy to share some. Current business owner that employs over 350 people right here in Utah. Two Ivy League Degrees. Guarantee my State and Federal income tax bills were over double of what you paid. Now riddle me this. Care explaining how I voted for the "gravy train"?

Jimmytheliberal
Salt Lake City, UT

@Linus...I'm still waiting for the "gravy train" explanation....In the meantime all I seem to be hearing is crickets!

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