Setting the Record Straight: 5 Reasons to Support the Governor’s Healthy Utah Plan

Setting the Record Straight: 5 Reasons to Support the Governor's Healthy Utah PlanThe Healthy Utah plan would bring federal tax dollars back to Utah to provide health coverage to low-income, working, uninsured Utahns. Although the Healthy Utah plan would save lives and provide a much-needed economic stimulus to the state, an anonymous group has been distributing misinformation about the Healthy Utah plan through mailers and advertisements. Don’t be fooled! Here are the facts:

1. Healthy Utah would reduce crime and save taxpayers money.

Healthy Utah will reduce recidivism and save the state millions. Although only a small minority of potential Healthy Utah enrollees are mentally ill or involved with the criminal justice system, the Healthy Utah plan would save the Utah correction system and county governments millions of dollars in hospitalization and behavioral health costs. Evidence shows that health care coverage keeps mentally ill inmates from returning to prison.

The plan would also save millions of dollars currently spent to treat the uninsured in emergency rooms, which are currently passed on to other Utahns through higher healthcare costs and insurance premiums.

Healthy Utah will not increase Utahns’ federal tax burden. If Utah does not pass Healthy Utah or expand Medicaid, our federal tax dollars will simply go to other states instead of benefiting Utah citizens.

2. Implementing the Healthy Utah plan is good for Utah’s economy.

Not only will implementing the Healthy Utah Plan return $258 million in Utah taxpayer dollars to the state, the influx of money will support over 3,000 new healthcare sector jobs and could lead to billions in newly generated economic impact.

3. The people who would benefit from Healthy Utah are working.

There are 111,000 Utahns who would benefit from the Healthy Utah plan, many of whom are too poor to receive tax credits enjoyed by wealthier citizens but who are ineligible for Medicaid. Some critics of Healthy Utah imply that these Utahns are not working and do not deserve the state’s help in obtaining health coverage. However, the fact is that the vast majority of the Utahns who would benefit from Healthy Utah are employed.
• 65% of those who would be eligible for Healthy Utah are employed.
• 85% of families who would be eligible for Healthy Utah include at least one working adult.

Among those not working, the most common reason cited is “taking care of family.” Other reasons include being disabled, a student, retired, or not being able to find work.


4. Healthy Utah would benefit 44,000 parents with dependent children.

Some have argued that Healthy Utah only benefits childless adults, but 44,000 of the projected enrollees are parents with dependent children who don’t have access to affordable healthcare coverage currently.

5. Healthy Utah helps older Utahns.

If Utah implements the Healthy Utah plan, more low-income, older adults will have access to affordable healthcare coverage as they wait for Medicaid benefits to kick-in. Healthy Utah has absolutely no impact on Medicare plans. It is despicable to use false information to scare seniors into opposing health care for their children and grandchildren.

This post originally appeared on the Voices for Utah Children blog, and is reprinted here with permission.

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