In November of 2008, I was told by my doctors that I had end-stage kidney failure, and would need a kidney transplant. Among other factors, I was able to receive this lifesaving surgery because of a great nation and state that have the wisdom and compassion to use programs such as Medicaid to help those who need it. As a part-time employee of Salt Lake County, part-time college student and full-time care provider to a wonderful niece and nephew who were each under 5 years old and both of whose parents had to work in order to support them, I had no health insurance. While the generosity of friends and strangers was overwhelming, the donations were only enough to pay roughly 10 percent of my medical expenses. I would not be here today without Medicaid.

While we have to deal with a crushing stigma that people who need public assistance are lazy or "takers," most people who need Medicaid are like me: hard-working, decent people who don't think they are "entitled" to anything, they just want a chance to receive the medical care they need to stay alive. Please encourage Gov. Herbert to accept a real Medicaid expansion.

Paul Gibbs