Deseret News
Letter to the editor

In all of the rhetoric we hear about the "dangers" of ballot initiatives, we hear they aren't subject to the same kind of scrutiny and careful checks and balances as traditional legislation. And then in week one of the 2019 Utah Legislative session, Utah senators have destroyed that argument by rushing through SB96, a Medicaid expansion repeal and replace bill so bad it would be laughable if people's lives and health weren't at stake.

They've given us a bill that will cost up to $72 million more in the first two years to cover fewer people and rely on an unprecedented federal waiver that we're given vague promises they've been told will maybe probably almost definitely come at some point. And they haven't cited or shown us sources for the numbers they use to back up their economic arguments, while Proposition 3 supporters cite reputable sources such as the Brookings Institution and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

18 comments on this story

The reality doesn't match the rhetoric. Proposition 3 is well-reasoned and well-developed, and it works. And it was supported by 53 percent of voters and 59 percent of legislative districts, with an astonishing 75.55 percent voter turnout. If it must be tweaked for economic reasons, legislative leaders should give heed to Rep. Ray Ward's HB210 compromise bill, which makes technical fixes that address issues far better than SB96 does, while still respecting the will of the voters. Otherwise, they show us this isn't about fiscal responsibility, but about ideology and spite.

Paul Gubbs

West Valley City