Midday Commentary on Last Night’s News — Oct. 12, 2015

It’s been a reasonably quiet weekend in the political world, especially after the flurry at the end of last week.

But not to worry, things are about to pick up again.

Tomorrow, the Utah House GOP caucus will meet to vote on whether or not to take up the newest version of full Medicaid  expansion: Healthy Utah Healthy Utah 2.0 Frail Utah Utah Access Utah Access+.

For the uninitiated, it will go a little something like this:

The caucus will file in, chat for a bit, and then they’ll get the short pitch, probably from Speaker Hughes, or maybe Majority Leader Jim Dunnigan. They’ve already seen the plan. The Health Care Reform Task Force took public comment. They heard from the advocacy groups on each side of the debate.

And I have to assume they’ve heard from the governor’s office, even if at this point the Doppler Shift is making it hard to understand.

Anyway, they have a couple of options next. They’ve got to get to 38 votes to trigger the deal with the governor to call a special session. So either someone will stand at the front of the caucus with a tick sheet (Chief Greg Hartley is the best bet) and call out names, or they’ll throw up hands for the “nays”, count to, let’s say 12-18, and call it a day.Homer

Then comes a press conference from the House, a statement from the Governor’s Office, advocate mayhem, and editorials bemoaning the “closed” process and all the dead people that will result from such a horrendous decision.

On to other news:

• In semi-related news, the Trib discovers that a third of Utah’s lawmakers are involved somehow in the healthcare industry. That’s not surprising, given that nearly a fifth of the economy is healthcare related. (Trib)

• 45,000 Utahns apparently couldn’t pay off their payday loans on time. So the obvious solution is more legislation. Don’t get me wrong, payday loans aren’t my thing. They probably shouldn’t be anybody’s thing. But they do serve a need. It’s a need from high-risk customers. So the returns need to justify the risk. Cold? Maybe. But short of forcing businesses to give them money, or maybe raising taxes, I don’t have a solution. Do you? (Trib)

And if none of that interests you, watch these drones do some really, really cool stuff. And then imagine them with guns, and weep for our future.

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