Utah Senate OKs replacement for Medicaid expansion

Amended bill forgoes $1B in matching funds, would kill expansion if feds don't grant waivers

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  • rogerdpack Orem, UT
    Feb. 6, 2019 2:18 p.m.

    I was hoping they'd pass it in full, so I could retire down to part time. Grrr legislature killing my early retirement plans...

  • calu Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 6, 2019 12:29 p.m.

    I’m sure I will not be the only American /Utahn who decides it is easier to work less-take advantage of unemployment,tanf etc and get medicaid rather than work and pay for or go without health insurance. Jobs in food service, hair dressers and so many others do not offer health insurance at all.

  • quackquack Park City, UT
    Feb. 6, 2019 9:03 a.m.

    @1hemlock - Tooele, Utah

    Have you read Thomas Jefferson's version to the Declaration of independence ?

    "Governments are instituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government shall become destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, & to institute new government,"

    Look it up

  • UtahCornell Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2019 4:51 p.m.

    Lost in DC and NoNamesAccepted - St. George, UT: You haven't looked at the multiple studies on states which DID expand Medicaid. These studies include years of the 90/10 match, which UT would get. The reason the GOP machine on Capitol Hill is wrong about "the math" is that the extra Federal $$ coming into the state does 2 things: it shifts expenses, like healthcare for corrections inmates and for certain mental health/addiction programs OUT of the state budget, thus offsetting costs; and the newly-insured have extra $$ to spend, that boosts the economy. Oh, and it tends to lower insurance costs for all, including the many who get their insurance through employers. Christensen, Dunnigan et al. have spent years trying to hide these offsetting benefits from Utahns - and apparently they've succeeded with you. A place to start is "Do states regret expanding Medicaid?" an issue brief from USC-Brookings.

  • goodnight-goodluck Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2019 3:02 p.m.

    Sends a compelling message to the public that our voices and votes do not matter, a handful of ideologues are going to cost Utah millions of more dollars and cover fewer Utahn's.
    The Utah Republican Party should be ashamed. Hopefully the House and the Governor will refuse to go along with this ill thought out scheme.

  • 1hemlock Tooele, Utah
    Feb. 5, 2019 2:04 p.m.

    @ FT. quack . and Jefferson and any others that fret that the will of the people is not being followed.
    The will of the people is manifest by electing individuals that you feel will represent your views. We have a representative democracy. The legislators represent all the people ( they should).
    If you don't like the way they vote, then you vote in people who will vote like you want them to. That's how it works.
    Ballot initiatives never, ever show both sides of an issue. They are mostly brought forward based on emotion and hyperbole.
    The legislature brings in experts on both sides of an issue. They bring in data regarding cost etc. So you have 79 + 29 people looking at an issue. You must convince a majority of them for things to pass. They can take their time thinking about it.
    With a ballot initiative there is one side brought forth. There is no deliberation. There is the voter with no data, no counter views seen or looked for, and there is some emotion. Lots of emotion.
    Any decision made by the legislature is better than any decision made by ballot initiative.

  • KSN Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2019 1:30 p.m.

    If I give my son $50 and send him to Home Depot to buy me a Bosche jig saw but he discovers, on arrival, that the Black and Decker is $49 but the Bosche is $149, two things become immediately clear: that I am ignorant of the cost and that it will be impossible for him to fulfill my expectations.

  • Bob Tanner Price, UT
    Feb. 5, 2019 12:35 p.m.

    The will of he voters will never be able to trump the will of any one party legislature. I know that to a lot of us that sounds very frustrating, but never the less it is so. The one party is chewing at the bit to pass legislation to prevent propositions because they feel that propositions do not "really" reflect the will of the people. Sometimes it might be better not to be so wise.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 5, 2019 11:58 a.m.

    J.Smith says "Article 25 of the United Nations' 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services."........"

    Okay, when the United Nations agrees to send Utah a check to pay for free stuff for everyone in Utah, we can approve full medicaid expansion.

  • dordrecht Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2019 11:21 a.m.

    I ask myself what those legislators, who feel they are smarter than the voters, say in church when they testify of the divinity of Jesus Christ. And I wonder if, whatever they proclaim, applies only on Sundays.

  • AlagnakLounger Heber City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2019 11:02 a.m.

    Some seem to believe that government has an endless supply of money to solve all our ills. After all, we're compassionate and we should take care of the least among us. If we just "value" it enough, we can always find the money. Right?

    Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York, just announced that they have a $2.3 Billion revenue shortfall for the upcoming fiscal year and that expenditures will have to be cut. He recognized that 1% already pay 46% of the tax bill in New York. One of his statements sums up their predicament best. He said: "God forbid if the rich leave."

    They have left and it's because the high tax states, like New York, are no longer being subsidized by the low income states through the SALT deduction.

    I applaud the legislature for reigning in a profligate citizens initiative. The waivers that the State seeks are a wise, prudent and necessary to provide for the least among us and do so in a prudent and fiscally responsible way. It's the federal government that stands in the way; not our lack of compassion.

  • Utefan60 , 00
    Feb. 5, 2019 9:51 a.m.

    NoNamesAccepted - St. George, UT, you said that we should not be subject to 30% of the voters. By the same logic we should not be subject to Trump who was NOT elected by the majority of voters. In fact you remember Clinton got 3 million more votes.....right?

  • Deseret Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2019 9:42 a.m.

    Dear Utah leaders, don't blame mathematics for this result: there is always money for what we value. Some people don't deserve health care, that is what this so called "fix" tells us.

  • ConradGurch Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 5, 2019 9:10 a.m.

    If they would've approved Prop 2 and taxed it they wouldn't need one more penny for Medicaid expansion.

  • AlagnakLounger Heber City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2019 8:46 a.m.

    "A majority of voters cannot overrule the laws of mathematics,"

    Well... the voters keep electing people who have gotten them $22,000,000,000,000 in debt along with over $100,000,000,000,000 in unfunded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare. I think the majority of voters do believe they can “overrule the laws of mathematics.”

    Thank you Utah Legislature! How awkward to have to tell over half of your constituents that 2+2 does not equal 22.

  • pragmatistferlife Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2019 8:42 a.m.

    "after the federal money runs out in a couple of years"

    The government is going broke again..right?

    Fact is this could be done if our legislators wanted it done. The vast majority of states have expanded Medicaid and "The strong balance of objective evidence indicates that actual costs to states so far from expanding Medicaid are negligible or minor, and that states across the political spectrum do not regret their decisions to expand Medicaid. (Brookings)"

    In addition.."Republican governors in at least five expansion states (Arkansas, Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio) have voiced their continuing support for expansion, and several openly opposed recent Congressional efforts to repeal expansion. "

    We could do it....we just have an abnormal meme in this state to fight "socialism", as someone all ready said.

  • J. Smith Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2019 8:36 a.m.

    Article 25 of the United Nations' 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services."........

  • The Great Helmsman Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2019 8:28 a.m.

    And everyone of these folks will get re-elected with 60% of the vote. Our legislature laughs at the voters of this state.

  • robin138 springfield, VA
    Feb. 5, 2019 8:23 a.m.

    It appears that the elected members of the Utah senate believe their job is to pass laws according to their beliefs because the citizens of Utah are incapable of valid political vision.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 5, 2019 8:06 a.m.

    @No Names
    The constitution supersedes all votes and legislation. Utah's desire to define marriage as only a union between a man and a woman was overrode by the Supreme Court. Prop 3 is constitutional and will become law unless our legislators overrule the vote of the people. My original post stands. No matter how one voted we should all be concerned that the will of the people is being overturned by a handful of men who have the power to disregard the majority of people. How will the people respond? Rallies, riots, violence, protests?

  • Thomas Jefferson Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2019 7:53 a.m.

    We will never have decent representation until every member of the legislature KNOWS they could lose their next election. One party rule destroys democracy. Gerrymandering destroys democracy. Complacent voters willing let their representation run them over because they refuse to hold their representatives responsible for anything.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2019 7:17 a.m.

    The tea party has firm roots in Utah and controls their way only.

  • quackquack Park City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2019 7:14 a.m.

    Between bills for Medical MJ, UTA, The Prison move and now this it seems the wishes of Utah citizen doesn't matter. This legislature passes bills they they want and just disregards the wishes of the Utah citizen. Dont they call that a Theocracy\Dictatorship ?

    Vote out all incumbents isn't it obvious this legislature no longer hears the voice of the Utah citizen

    "This nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

    Lincoln

  • Thomas Thompson Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2019 6:51 a.m.

    This is nothing less than an outrage committed upon the people of Utah by Legislators who are in thrall to corporate lobbyists. It's those lobbyists who are their real constituents. They're doing this to us because they can, and their overseers demand it.

    We need to develop long enough memories to vote out these Republican rascals in the next election.

  • Schwa Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2019 2:39 a.m.

    This is the Utah Legislature making sure the voters understand exactly who runs Bartertown.

  • sandia West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 5, 2019 2:01 a.m.

    It is time that the Legislature was truthful with the people of Utah for a change. Their actions on Medicaid expansion are NOT about balancing the budget, or showing fiscal responsibility, or following the will of the people, or, heaven forbid, doing what is right for the needy.
    Instead, they are totally spooked by "socialism," which drives the conservative Republicans to keep the Federal Government out of the affairs of Utah whenever possible and at all costs, even if it means foregoing $1B in federal assistance, avoiding helping 150,000 of our needy, and thumbing their noses at the voters.
    This is such a sad commentary on the Legislature. If they stay this course we ought to vote the entire delegation out in favor of rational, inclusive, and caring people who can also see the Federal Government as a partner rather than an enemy of the people. It is such a shame that these very people can trample the Constitution/Federal Government with impunity one day, and claim it to be divinely inspired the next day.
    So sad that they run away from doing what is RIGHT just to preserve a twisted notion that the Feds are the bad guys. So very sad, indeed!!

  • Hank1950 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2019 1:55 a.m.

    The legislators on the hill will eventually kill every proposition that the public voted in favor of. They know that all of the complications they are adding to prop 2 will make it too complicated for people to get medical canibas. They know that the changing of prop 3 will be more expensive than the original and the requirements for waivers will never pass The Trump Administration . They also plan on changing the proposition to use an independent counsel to stop gerrymandering .
    What the oligarchs on the hill are doing in a roundabout way is repealing everything the people voted for in the last election.
    They think it is fine to spend billions on an inland port and a new prison, but not one extra dime to help the downtrodden get health care.
    Shame on them !

  • reriding Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2019 1:37 a.m.

    The call to change the Utah Constitution to require a majority of all voters, instead of a majority of those voting, to pass initiatives or referenda, should logically also apply in the case of a constitutional amendment. The amendment process instead clearly states "a majority of the electors voting...." and so we see the intent of the framers was not to require a majority of all voters but a majority of those voting.

  • RRB SLC, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 11:01 p.m.

    And if the Federal government doesn't come through with waivers? Are you prepared to lose your jobs?

    I thought the state of Utah didn't want to be dependent on the Feds.

  • EDM Castle Valley, Utah
    Feb. 4, 2019 9:57 p.m.

    @ Bob Tanner

    “Does anyone else ever look at the photos of those involved with the legislature as well as those whose comments are being covered by the press? If you do, you will certainly be able to focus on anyone who exudes self confidence in very picture. Yesterday one of the commenters commented that a picture is worth 1,000 words. As old as that phrase might be, there is great truth in it. Just a thought.”

    Thank you. I’ve been afraid to say it myself. I HONESTLY believe it is impossible to capture a photo of a GOP senator without a smug face.

  • EDM Castle Valley, Utah
    Feb. 4, 2019 9:16 p.m.

    Progressives, let’s take our outrage to the politicians. Write and phone them now and tomorrow!

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 8:17 p.m.

    @FT:

    Yes, some elections do carry more weight than others. We are wisely not a democracy.

    The federal courts over-rode Utah's vote to define marriage as a man and a woman. Are you as upset about that as you are this vote by the legislature? Why if you think all elections carry equal weigh? Our constitutional amendment on marriage passed by a larger margin than did Prop 3, after it passed both houses of the Utah legislature by the required super-majority.

    Most of our elected representatives were elected or re-elected by much larger margins than that by which Prop 3 passed.

    And since Prop 3 did not provide sufficient tax increases or other identified sources of funding to meet the on going obligation after the federal money runs out in a couple of years, the legislature is obliged to fix it one way or another. Some of us prefer we honestly fix it on the front end, before obligations are made. Others, dishonestly want to get people onto medicaid and then have sad faces to parade through the legislature in the future when they have to consider cost cutting.

    @oaklandaforlife:

    Until they are voted out, the legislature represents the will of Utahns better than Prop 3 does.

  • Bob Tanner Price, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 8:05 p.m.

    Does anyone else ever look at the photos of those involved with the legislature as well as those whose comments are being covered by the press? If you do, you will certainly be able to focus on anyone who exudes self confidence in very picture. Yesterday one of the commenters commented that a picture is worth 1,000 words. As old as that phrase might be, there is great truth in it. Just a thought.

  • oaklandaforlife Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 7:28 p.m.

    Simply unbelievable what is happening with Prop. 3. These self serving, better than thou folks, need to be voted out at an alarming pace. Pretty apparent they have no interest whatsoever what the voters approve. Shame, shame on them.

  • JLindow St. George, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 7:03 p.m.

    The plan costs more, covers fewer, still has a coverage gap, and requires a waiver from the federal government that's unlikely to be granted.

    Meanwhile they're working on bills to make it harder to get initiatives on the ballot.

    The message is loud and clear. Our votes do not matter and our representatives do not represent us.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 6:27 p.m.

    @no names
    So some election results carry more weight than others? Every Utahaan had the opportunity to vote. Just because someone doesn't like the result of a fair and free election doesn't provide them grounds to disregard the results. Unless of course you're an elected Utahaaan politician who's first responsibilities appears to be the Republican party and the donors for which they serve.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 6:09 p.m.

    @FT: "No matter how one feels about expanding Medicare we all should be concerned that our legislators are working against the wishes of the majority of Utahans."

    Not even close to a "majority of Utahns" (natives know that we've never spelled it with two a's) voted for Prop 3. In fact, fewer than 30% of registered voters voted in favor of Prop 3.

    55% of registered voters voted last November in Utah. Of those, 54% voted in favor of Prop 3.

    0.55 * 0.54 = 0.297 == 29.7%

    There is no reason why 30% of voters should be able to subject the rest of us to a $1B to $4B obligation.

    Under Art 6, Sec 22 of the Utah State Constitution, bills require a majority of elected legislators to pass, not merely a majority of those present to vote:

    "No bill or joint resolution shall be passed except with the assent of the majority of all the members elected to each house of the Legislature."

    We need a similar limit on citizen initiatives. If we are going to claim an initiative represents the will of the voters, then it needs to pass by a majority of all registered voters, not merely those who voted. This is double needed when the initiative commits State funds or raises taxes.

  • Guin Pen Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 5:41 p.m.

    It's blatantly apparent that the whole intent was to kill Medicaid expansion without having to take the fall for it. So, Utah lawmakers rely once again on their favorite scapegoat - the federal government - to take the brunt of the public ire while they continue to deliberately avoid prioritizing the needy and destitute. Porn is a public health crisis, but suffering needlessly and dying from treatable conditions because of inadequate access to comprehensive healthcare is not? Private charitable organizations should be primarily responsible for the care of the poor and sick, but it's a legislative priority to move a prison so some already-wealthy developers can earn more money to increase the number of business complexes and largely unaffordable housing options along the congested I-15 corridor? At what point are they going to stop pretending they care about the well-being of anyone who can't contribute to their re-election campaigns?

    Maybe the legislative body should donate its free healthcare to people who need it. I can guarantee no other business would provide healthcare to employees that only work 45 days a year, nor would that be sufficient to meet Medicaid work requirements.

  • dolce et decorum est , 00
    Feb. 4, 2019 5:21 p.m.

    I tried to make my previous post more thoughtful. Now, I would just like to say that the Utah Senate has comported itself on this issue in a way that is cartoonishly evil.

  • Autumn Meadow South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 5:19 p.m.

    This article should have reported on Rep. Ray Ward's much better proposal. He is a Republican and a physician, and he has come up with a solution, HB 210, which will cover the costs and NOT kick out any of the people who we voted to get the Medicaid expansion.

    The Utah Senate knows about the much better proposal. Why are they continuing to push this terrible non-solution (SB96) which will just anger voters, cost more, and cover fewer people?

  • uterebel50 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 5:11 p.m.

    Legislative Republicans are not as cold hearted at many here have portrayed them to be. They're just indifferent to the suffering of others not of their ilk. They have a base of voters they rely upon to re-elect them, and they rest assured that none of their voters are "those people" who need Medicaid, and though their numbers just don't add up, by 2020 most of their voters will have forgotten what was done today, anyway.

  • dulce et decorum est , 00
    Feb. 4, 2019 4:58 p.m.

    There is a building imbalance between the political beliefs of the people of Utah and their representatives. This imbalance arises from structural impediments, such as an essentially one-party system exacerbated by the caucus approach to primaries, to the public expressing its voice. The imbalance is causing destabilizing pressures, seen in the “count-my-vote” movement and the most recent round of voter initiatives, of increasing strength and moment.

    Instead of allowing for the proper restoration of a balance, the legislature continues to try and overrule the people in ways that only cause the pressure to build and the people to clamor for more representation. At some point, the pressure will be released. Better that the pressure gets released in constructive channels, such as through the enactment of proposition 3 and redistricting than through a breach in the dam that will likely be uncontrollable and damaging in unforeseeable ways.

    It is time for the legislature to listen to the people and uphold their votes.

  • djc Stansbury Park, Ut
    Feb. 4, 2019 4:41 p.m.

    Hi Ho Hi Ho, it's off to go against the wishes of the voters we go. We do it because we think we are smarter, faster, better and just really the big cheese. Look at us, we're important. The one picture used says a thousand words.

  • Bob Tanner Price, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 4:43 p.m.

    My Dad taught me that every vote counted. I voted for Prop.3 But times have changed since my Dad taught me that. This time, my vote and the vote of many other concerned citizens, didn't count for anything. And we still wonder why the voter turnout is so low.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 4:33 p.m.

    A billion dollars for a prison: no problem
    A billion (+) dollars for a water pipeline from a rapidly disappearing lake to a city that refused to conserve water: check
    Who knows how much for an inland port (who knows what that even is): check
    A billion Federal dollars so poor people can go to a doctor: can't afford it.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 4:31 p.m.

    @DN Subscriber
    "So, the choice being pushed is to take $1 billion in "free cheese" and get hit by a perpetual rat trap which will cost us $2 billion more. Don't do it, it's a trap!"

    Medicaid expansion is 90% subsidized by the federal government after 2020 so your math is either flat out false or has something very shady going on (like using different year lengths for one vs the other).

  • quackquack Park City, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 3:14 p.m.

    A billion dollar cost comes up for a prison move and its passed in a coupe of months a billion dollars for the disenfranchised and its stricken down by Utah legislature.

    How does that make any sense ? Please this next election vote these incumbents out its it obvious by now they care more about felons then they the poor Utah citizen.

  • Weston Jurney West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 3:03 p.m.

    Wow! A chance to spit in the face of the voters AND trample on the poor, with just one vote!

    No wonder Utah politicians jumped at it.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 3:00 p.m.

    Allen Christensen is a former pediatric dentist. He should be more aware of how important medicaid is for Utah's poor children. Shame on all who have done this. I'm four square red Republican and this is wrong.l

  • Frank Walters Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 2:58 p.m.

    HaHaHoHo we really got taken advantage of this past election. Many of the informed tried to warn the voting public yet it was all ignored. Now we're stuck with having given our leadership the keys to our car and we've relinquished any control we had. So best of luck to us all, this is going to really hurt!

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 2:32 p.m.

    I see a number of folks talking about "morality."

    Sorry, but this nation decided that morality had no place in legislation when we were forced to encourage and reward all manner of sexual behavior that is damaging to society. Morals were pushed from the public square when we decided that the Bible was persona non grata in public schools. Every time someone demands we tax churches (power to tax is power to destroy) and remove the tax deduction for charitable deductions to churches, he makes clear he doesn't want morals to be part of our law making process.

    I'm happy to discuss morals and legislation. But not just when it suites a left wing, socialist, welfare agenda.

    Let's discuss the morals of working to earn one's own support. Let's discuss the morals of not buying luxeries--including tats/piercings, hair/nails, Cable TV, smart phones, smokes/booze/fast food, ATVs, vacations--until after all necessities are funded.

    Let's discuss the difference between freewill offerings for charity, vs using the power of the state to take from the man who earned it to give to someone who didn't.

    As we hear so often in other debates: Leave your morals out the law.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 2:28 p.m.

    No matter how one feels about expanding Medicare we all should be concerned that our legislators are working against the wishes of the majority of Utahans.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 2:24 p.m.

    Anyone who complained about the latest federal budget that added significanty to the national debt, cannot, with any honesty, complain about Utah not jumping on the bandwagon to spend an additional $1,000 million ($1 Billion) of borrowed money.

    Furthermore, the federal subsidy declines steadily and quickly meaning that the obligation upon the taxpayers of Utah grows. We passed on $1B in "free" federal money today, saving ourselves the ongoing obligation of funding that $1B entirely ourselves, in just a few years.

    Moreover, from other States, we know that signups for expanded medicaid can be 50 to 100% higher than projected, with costs also 50 to 100% higher. So, double the number of projected people, double the costs, and we could have been looking at $4B. On a $16B total budget, that is a huge obligation that would break everything else we do including education, transportation, and public safety. Even $1B is a big chunch of $16B.

    Sorry folks. But we've got to have a work requirement for the able bodied. We've got to get more people supporting themselves rather than relying on the taxpayers. We can't afford a welfare state.

  • Ralph Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 2:24 p.m.

    @bamafone: "the Weed smokers that showed up for their pot on Election Day helped put this unsustainable money pit insurance bill over the top."

    Yup, somebody is smoking something, "bamafone", but I don't think it's the people who voted for Prop 3.

    Hmmm, bamafone?

  • The Dark Knight Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 2:15 p.m.

    This is wrong. It's wrong morally, ethically, fiscally, and intellectually. The human and fiscal cost of this petty act of ideological spite will be catastrophic. I believe the legislators who voted yes know that and just don't care as long as they get their win. I have too much respect for their intelligence to think they actually believe this is a good idea.

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 2:09 p.m.

    Why does the legislature arrogantly ignore the will of the people? Because they know with an R next to their name on the ballot, they do not have to care what we want. They know they will be elected no matter what they do. Stop Voting For Them!

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 1:56 p.m.

    The most important part of the piece, that everyone seems to be missing, is that if the Trump administration doesn't grant waivers for this program, then it all just goes away. The Trump administration is never, ever going to grant these waivers, meaning we will end up with nothing. The legislature does understand this, so their vote is a vote completely kill the program.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 1:54 p.m.

    Let there be no doubt - democracy in Utah does not exist!

  • shamrock Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 1:48 p.m.

    Utah seems to be full of Christians who thumb their noses at Christ's teachings. I don't recall his telling us to help the poor only if it was convenient and cheap.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 1:32 p.m.

    Control over the electorate is the hall mark of the legislators that can thumb their nose at any time over the voters. Sad.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 1:26 p.m.

    DN Subscriber said: "So, the choice being pushed is to take $1 billion in "free cheese" and get hit by a perpetual rat trap which will cost us $2 billion more. Don't do it, it's a trap!"

    NOT Free, we are already paid for the cheese, you and the GOP just want to give it away for free to other states.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 1:00 p.m.

    So, the choice being pushed is to take $1 billion in "free cheese" and get hit by a perpetual rat trap which will cost us $2 billion more. Don't do it, it's a trap!

    If you think health care is expensive now, just wait until it is "free."

    Medicare expansion sounds good, but the devilish details about who will pay the total bill, as opposed to the "free money" make it an unsustainable trap. With over $22 trillion id current (and unrepayable) federal debt it is inevitable that federal medicaid funding must be cut even more in the future state costs will skyrocket.

  • bamafone Salem, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 12:37 p.m.

    the Weed smokers that showed up for their pot on Election Day helped put this unsustainable money pit insurance bill over the top. Folks with some fiscal wisdom know that the Utah budget has to be balanced, so they are doing what is responsible, which is unlike other states.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 11:37 a.m.

    Foregoing $1B to avoid a $2B liability makes sense to me. And the $1B is misleading – it’s cumulative, not current.

    Why the need to obfuscate?

    Roberts said the bill cuts Medicaid for Utah families? Not so, SB 96 would expand, though not as much as some want. Not expanding as much is not the same thing as cutting.

    Again, why the need to obfuscate?

    Platypus,
    The legislature is neither apathetic nor amoral.

    If they were apathetic, they wouldn’t do anything on it. The fact they are looking at correcting it shows they definitely are not apathetic.

    What is amoral is saying a .15% increase is the sales tax is enough to cover the cost when it is not.

    What is amoral is hiding the tax increase in the middle of the text.

    What is amoral is not saying how much the additional tax would cost each family

  • Kralon HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA
    Feb. 4, 2019 11:41 a.m.

    It is embarrassing that politicians go to such great lengths to ignore the public's will. Prison move, inland port, UTA and now Medicaid. Such elitism by politicians who are sure they know better than the public, hopefully the public will remember at voting time.

    The point is not that it saves Utah money, the point is that it helps those in need!

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 11:29 a.m.

    @Prometheus Platypus - Orem, UT
    "Again, vote out the self serving apathetic amoral GOP."

    Exactly. If it still originally named "Romneycare", instead of Obamacare, Utahn's would've had this a decade ago. Our Utah Legislators are throwing away hundreds of millions out of spite. Vote them out.

  • imsmarterthanyou Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 11:26 a.m.

    Fact: the money is coming out of my paycheck whether deducted by the state or the feds is irrelevant. Fact: I'm paying a LOT of money every month so that people who are "less fortunate" can have good health insurance when I don't have insurance at all. Sure would be nice if the government would allow me to take care of my family before they force me to take care of someone else's.

  • Utefan60 , 00
    Feb. 4, 2019 11:26 a.m.

    These Legislators get free health care paid for by tax payors from PEHP.

    That is the hypocrisy of the GOP Legislators who do nothing to help those in need, but make sure they are covered. Wow.

    This paper has reported on people who have died in this state due to lack of health coverage. Those deaths are squarely on the GOP.

  • Brad Peterson South Ogden, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 11:20 a.m.

    All of this could have been avoided had the Prop 3 backers made sure their tax increase paid for itself. We don't know the "will of the people", because not all of those 53% who voted in favor would have done so had they know the plan was fiscally unsustainable.

    Instead we are left with the legislature needing to fix a massive funding gap that gets worse every year after 2020.

    Looks like the legislature is opting for a mix of new tax increases (not approved by voters), and drawing a line in the sand insisting they won't spend any further past that. Honestly, I can't blame them.

  • J. Smith Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 11:11 a.m.

    Wow, I guess that decision was made out of love, respect and benevolence for those amongst us that are without the means, jobs, family and general safety net that should be afforded to all humanity amongst us.................

  • Prometheus Platypus Orem, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 10:53 a.m.

    Horrible representation, by those who get free health care on our dime.

    Yes, giving away a billion dollars to other smarter states, is great for their citizens, not so great for those in our state who really need it.

    Again, vote out the self serving apathetic amoral GOP.