Gov. Gary Herbert offers 'Utah solution' to Medicaid expansion

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  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    March 1, 2014 10:46 a.m.

    Insurance is not always insurance.

    Obamacare Bronze plan for those just over the poverty line has such a high deductible that people at that level can't use it. Yet, the insurance companies are taking the check from the Feds - lost money for the tax payer.

    On the other hand, the government offers grants to insurance companies that can provide superior Medicare service for less money, called Medicare Advantage - money saving for the tax payer.

    The problem with the Governor's plan is just giving the money to private insurance may cause the same problem as Obamacare Bronze plan.

    The best solution is to expand Medicaid like Medicare Advantage; expand the Medicaid as Feds propose (quickly...time is ticking) AND offer to grant insurance plans that offer more service for less money.

    The best of both worlds, by creating competition.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    March 1, 2014 10:31 a.m.

    Call2Action "Obamacare is a disaster like all the liberal ideas forced on us by liberals, whether a D or an R is next to their name."

    Right. Obamacare created this horrible doughnut hole that hurts the very poor.

    But, the Federal funded Medicaid expansion is a band-aid to fix one of the biggest problems with Obamacare. So, why is the speaker rejecting the fix?

  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    March 1, 2014 10:23 a.m.

    The Governor's plan - take a grant from the Feds of $350 million (half of the total grant), already offered as a refund to the people of Utah to help those BELOW the poverty line left out of Obamacare.

    The Speaker's plan - reject Utah's refund to make a statement in Washington (actually subsidizing other states) and SPENDING an ADDITIONAL $35 million collected from Utah tax payers to hardly make a dent to help those below the poverty level.

    I don't need to say more.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 28, 2014 9:46 a.m.

    Frankly, I don't see a need or advantage in doing it "the Utah way". Why don't we just do it the Federal way. Our Federal taxes are paying for it. Medicare and Medicaid have way lower administrative costs with a higher percentage of the money going for medical treatment then do private profit making insurance companies.

  • Ralph West Jordan Taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 28, 2014 9:07 a.m.

    I don't know about the rest of the readers but I for one am fed up with the lazy neer do well, non achievers sitting around in their wheel chairs with their hands out waiting for a little help so they might be able to start their Chemo treatments before it is to late! As the previous poster CDL explains they " are unwilling to put in the work and sacrifice to do better themselves" and DN Subscriber explains " The second is the crippling and demeaning notion that it is the responsibility of taxpayers to provide healthcare to anyone other than those who have contractually earned it". It should be everyone for himself! If you're down, to bad for you, hurray for me! I could go on but I still have a talk to prepare for church tomorrow on Compassion and love! I hear each day on the Radio, our Governor giving the PR state Promo "Life Elevated Utah". Just who are the selected group that "Life elevated in Utah" is for?

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Feb. 28, 2014 8:11 a.m.

    Let's do some math. The Speaker wants to spend $35 million out of our own pockets. We would give up the right to receive over $500 million, a net loss of over $535 million, and not taking it won't lower our taxes one bit. I want to learn more about the Gov's plan, but it still comes up short and leaves a lot of money on the table that we could get. Financially, the GOP doesn't seem very smart to me.

  • John Jackson Sandy, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 11:37 p.m.

    I hesitate at a plan that would take government money and give it to private insurers, partly because I always wonder if a lobbyist had a say in legislation.
    Sounds like I was wrong in supposing Lockhart was suggesting a state solution in order to sidestep adding to the national deficit. When she had said federal funds were unsustainable, I supposed she was thinking that while the federal government does have some funds, eventually it would kick over in the national debt. I supposed she was, in essense, saying, We'll help all those we can, but we won't take money that must be borrowed. We will pay for it upfront, even though it means it must come out of the state's pocket instead of the federal government's.
    But, I must be wrong, for the story quotes her as saying Medicaid expansion is "putting at risk hundreds of millions of state tax dollars in the future." Sounds like she wants to save state money, not spend it. Wish the reporter had asked her how her program would save state money.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Feb. 27, 2014 6:22 p.m.

    Herbert's plan gyps all of us. We're in line for at least a half billion dollars in Medicaid funding and he will only accept half? We pay those taxes and then lose 50 cents on the dollar? What kind of logic is that?

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 5:36 p.m.

    An interesting plan. I guess Utah just can't expand medicaid which would be simpler, more than likely more cost effective and cost the taxpayers of Utah less, but at least its a whole lot better than Lockhart's illogical plan. The devil will be in the details but it could be a decent solution. I think it would make more sense to expand medicaid to 100% of the poverty level and do Herbert's type of plan for those above the poverty line but still below the threshold where subsidies kick in (138% of poverty).

  • Call2Action Thatcher, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 5:26 p.m.

    @one vote, the Tea Party has not created a mess. The out of control Progressive philosophy is the cause of many of the messes we are in. Obamacare is a disaster like all the liberal ideas forced on us by liberals, whether a D or an R is next to their name.

  • Turtles Run Houston, TX
    Feb. 27, 2014 5:12 p.m.

    CDL wrote: The mess we are in is the outcome of Progressive ideology and corrupt politicians, and greedy people that want a better life not through their own efforts, but off the backs of productive members of society.

    Then why are the states that take in more tax dollars than put in generally conservative states? Why are the poorest regions of the nation also the reddest?

    Seems to me ideology and emotion shade your vision. It is progressive ideology that seeks to increase the size of the economic pie so more people are able to advance themselves. Tea party types supported the massive growth of government during the last administration and saw surpluses turn into over a trillion dollar deficit in 2009. All without one word of complaint.

    Fiscal responsibility did not enter the GOTP vocabulary till January 20, 2009.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 5:10 p.m.

    The Governor is asking the wrong question and proposing the wrong solutions. Of course, the Obama "fix" just makes things worse, as always.

    The root problem to be solved has two parts:

    One is how to provide MORE medical care which will increase availability and reduce costs to consumers.

    The second is the crippling and demeaning notion that it is the responsibility of taxpayers to provide healthcare to anyone other than those who have contractually earned it (e.g.- disabled veterans). Charity is the solution to much of the need. The other part of this issue is the similar notion that besides healthcare, the federal government somehow owes people college educations, free telephones, housing, food, and anything else that might buy votes from people who want "gimmes" more than freedom.

    We are broke and cannot afford Medicare, or a block grant to a state to spend on a different program. We also cannot afford to keep the promises made (and broken by Congress) to working Americans.

    Stop the spending on all the "free stuff!" It is not fair to steal from unborn generations to buy votes today.

  • Western Rover Herriman, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 4:43 p.m.

    It doesn't say in this story, but the governor may be thinking of how poorly Medicaid actually serves its recipients in states such as California where it has been expanded. I once paid for an appendectomy for my nephew because the doctor on duty in the small California town where he lived wouldn't take Medi-Cal (California's version of Medicaid) and suggested that his parents drive him 218 miles to another hospital.

    It remains to be seen whether the policies sold under the governor's proposal are any better than expanded Medicaid, but they can't be worse. Just because you have health "coverage" doesn't mean you have health care when you need it.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 4:42 p.m.

    "...Gov. Gary Herbert offered his own "Utah solution" to Medicaid expansion Thursday... calling for a new state-run program...paid for through a block grant from the federal government...".

    A new state-run program...

    paid for by the Federal Government...


    Instead of accepting funds from the Federal Government...

    "..."Healthy Utah" would enable the state to cover 111,000 Utahns earning less than $15,500 a year, the same number as a full expansion of Medicaid. But the plan would use federal funds to help the needy buy private insurance...".


    Instead of accepting funds from the Federal Government...

    Utah will accept funds from the Federal Government.


  • CDL Los Angeles, CA
    Feb. 27, 2014 4:31 p.m.

    No it's not the Tea Party that has made this mess. The Tea Party is an outcome of his policies. Though I'm not a Tea Party supporter, I'm also not an Obama supporter. The mess we are in is the outcome of Progressive ideology and corrupt politicians, and greedy people that want a better life not through their own efforts, but off the backs of productive members of society. They are unwilling to put in the work and sacrifice to do better themselves.

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 4:22 p.m.

    Someone, at some point, has to pull the reins in on the endless and infinite giveaway programs if we're going to survive as a nation. We're now $17,000+ BILLION worse than bankrupt, and although the open hands and empty mouths are endless, there's a real limit to how much insanity we can handle and still keep it together as a country and a society. The socialists seem to believe that the gravy train has no end, but we better find an end, and start satisfying our needs and wants with actual production rather than "redistribution," or we're toast.

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 4:21 p.m.

    @ Jlindow---But how would the insurance salesman get his cut, and how about the insurance company, it needs its cut. How is Herbert going to get them to give him money if all the money goes to providing medical care?

  • Kim Cedar Park, Texas
    Feb. 27, 2014 4:18 p.m.

    Sounds like a practical solution to politically difficult problem. The Governor should be congratulated. Now if politicians can put aside ideology and adopt this proposal, most Utah residents will now have access to health insurance.

  • JLindow St George, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 3:42 p.m.

    There's always the option of, I dunno, maybe expanding medicaid and making the federal government food 100% of the bill now and 90% of it later.

    If it makes Republicans feel better, they could always require drug testing or some other misanthropic precondition.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 3:25 p.m.

    The tea party has created a mess.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 2:33 p.m.

    So the State would use block grants (aka tax dollars) to have citizens buy insurance thru private health care providers. Sounds like Obamacare or Romneycare to me. Imitation is the highest form of flattery. The more you know about America's crazy health care system the more you realize, unless you take private insurance companies out of the mix, this is the most cost efficient way to provide coverage.

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 2:34 p.m.

    Becky Lockhart has to stop hating President Obama, be an adult, and do what's right