Gov. Herbert faces GOP opposition to special session on Medicaid expansion

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  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    May 24, 2014 6:24 p.m.

    Lost in DC, I believe you think that Medicaid expansion does nothing to strengthen families. Here's a true story that happened to a family in Washington whose kids were patients of our pediatrician.

    The couple did not have insurance. The wife became pregnant with twins. They were born prematurely, and were hospitalized for a month. The husband tried valiantly to keep up the payments on the bills, and took a second job, working nights. He was driving home at midnight and fell asleep at the wheel--the car went off the road and the man was thrown out, landing face down in a ditch. He drowned--in six inches of water.

    Insurance may not "strengthen" families, but the lack of it can destroy them.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    May 24, 2014 6:13 p.m.

    Kora, your brother-in-law may be able to pay his bills most of the time on an $11 an hour salary, but he will be flat out of luck if he or his dependents get sick. It's not just the deductible that can kill you; the services that are covered at, say, 80% can do you in when you have $55,000 of them. Don't believe me? Go down to your local Bankruptcy Court and just read the last ten cases filed. For at least five of them, the people are declaring bankruptcy because of mega-thousands of medical bills. And, thanks to your find governor, they didn't have insurance.

  • bullet56 Olympia, WA
    May 22, 2014 7:26 p.m.

    This is another example of how the GOP does not govern well. They do not want to vote or be held accountable, so 140,000 Utah citizens will use the current system of going to the ER for health care. Hospitals and insurance providers will continue to pass that bill in to policy holders and insurance companies. If we put the members of the government on that kind of health care, you bet they would have a one day session. The GOP is afraid to govern or vote.

  • Jimmytheliberal Salt Lake City, UT
    May 22, 2014 7:11 p.m.

    @DN News Subscriber...Sir may I say thank you for yet another extremely articulate and comical post. Once again you begin my day with not only head scratching but extreme laughter. Where would you find material for your comments if it were not for Faux News?

  • Kirk R Graves West Jordan, UT
    May 22, 2014 4:00 p.m.


    It is politically impossible to reduce spending on a social program. Once the program has been expanded, contracting again when the fed stops funding it is simply not a reality.

    Social liberals know this. They count on it. Anyone who believes that isn't exactly the reason this part of the ACA was put in is simply not being truthful with themselves.

  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    May 22, 2014 2:16 p.m.

    Again, folks like @lost in DC need to stop believing when the pundits drone on about how this politician is untrustworthy or that politician is evil. As an example, Barack Obama has done nothing more (arguably less) than any other modern president to deserve this kind of vitriol. Oh, and please refrain from trying to prove me wrong with some example about Benghazi.

    When you repeat semi-slanderous stuff like this it hurts everybody because people on the other side of an issue just stop listening to you and dismiss you simply being inside the "bubble," as or worse. For the sake of our democracy/republic, we need to stop with the name calling. It hurts us all in the end.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    May 22, 2014 1:44 p.m.

    and you believe what they are telling you?

    with all due respect to Spangs, BO has shown he is anything BUT trustworthy.

    of course, if you expand, then exit, all the liberals would accuse you of killing people.

  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    May 22, 2014 1:13 p.m.

    I would recommend looking at the comment from DN Subscriber. I guarantee that well over 50% of all Utahns agree with some form of this comment. He makes a great point about 'Medicare for all' being a better choice than what we have going at this time. And he makes an even better argument about how we are going to pay for it. These are very valid points and should be what we discuss in the public sphere. But folks like DN Subscriber need to grow up on a few things:

    1. The whole "President and/or Democrats and/or moderate Republicans can't be trusted" thing is ridiculous and childish. This drivel is destroying our democracy. He should stop saying it.
    2. Our current medical system is not working for 30% of our population and something needs to change. It is even more expensive than the 'socialist' alternatives he hates.
    3. Keeping $250 million from Utah's uninsured is unethical and just plain wrong. We also pay anyway: EMTALA laws state we must treat anyone that comes into an emergency room. Why not do it in a cost-effective way? Say, preventative care?

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    May 22, 2014 1:11 p.m.

    @lost in DC
    "Nope, cannot end it once you expand it."

    Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services officials have said that states can exit the expansion if they want to.

  • Jimmytheliberal Salt Lake City, UT
    May 22, 2014 1:00 p.m.

    @Kora...Possibly this i-pad along with these other items you speak of were gifts? Could this patient have had a recent birthday? Possibly they were borrowing these items? According to this logic there are numerous young drivers in the Sandy/Draper area that own luxury automobiles! Personally, I assume these vehicles belong to their parents.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    May 22, 2014 12:25 p.m.

    Gov. Herbert is probably thinking we have met the enemy and it is us. Good luck dealing with the radical right wing.

    May 22, 2014 11:53 a.m.

    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!

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    May 22, 2014 11:33 a.m.

    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.

  • boneheaded, but not a smidgen SLC, UT
    May 22, 2014 11:18 a.m.

    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.

  • wer South Jordan, UT
    May 22, 2014 11:10 a.m.

    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!

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    May 22, 2014 10:40 a.m.

    @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?

  • Unicorn 2000 Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 22, 2014 10:03 a.m.

    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.

  • mcdugall Murray, UT
    May 22, 2014 10:02 a.m.

    @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?

  • Kora Cedar Hills, UT
    May 22, 2014 9:33 a.m.

    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.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    May 22, 2014 8:57 a.m.

    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!

  • Kirk R Graves West Jordan, UT
    May 22, 2014 7:44 a.m.

    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.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    May 22, 2014 7:34 a.m.

    "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.

  • Ron Hilton Holladay, UT
    May 22, 2014 7:32 a.m.

    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.

  • ElmoBaggins Escalante, UT
    May 22, 2014 7:03 a.m.

    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!"

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    May 22, 2014 7:00 a.m.

    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.

  • md Cache, UT
    May 22, 2014 6:47 a.m.

    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.

  • Dave T in Ogden Ogden, UT
    May 22, 2014 6:43 a.m.

    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.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 21, 2014 11:08 p.m.

    "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.

  • Weberboy Fruit Heights, UT
    May 21, 2014 9:48 p.m.

    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.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 21, 2014 9:14 p.m.

    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!

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    May 21, 2014 6:39 p.m.

    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.