Medicaid Expansion: A bum deal for Utah

Utah has spent many years trying to find a middle road on Medicaid expansion. Most of the concerns have rightly been about trying to make sure that costs are contained before moving forward with any plan. Activists in Washington DC who wanted full as-is expansion cut a check for $342K (oh the irony of the group being named Utah Decides) to make sure the question would be on the ballot. Setting aside the obvious odiousness of a giant pile of DC money attempting to decide which way the state goes, the…

The Mero Moment: The Medicaid Debate – October 15, 2015

Medicaid has been thoroughly debated in Utah for nearly three years now and its conclusion seems a bit anti-climatic. As I share these thoughts, the House Republican Caucus will have voted whether to accept the latest compromise to extend eligibility to more Utahns. I would be shocked if the House Republican Caucus voted anything other than no. Of course, I’ve followed this debate along the way. Actually, my interest in finding sound solutions to helping our neighbors in need pre-dates, by many years, the current debate – and, frankly, I’m…

Rep. Robert Spendlove: The Next Steps on Utah Medicaid Reform

The Next Steps on Utah Medicaid Reform October 26, 2015 By Representative Robert Spendlove Members of the House Republican Caucus met recently to review the latest proposal from the Governor and Legislative Leadership in the House and Senate to expand Medicaid to low income individuals in our state. While I commend the “Group of Six” for their work on developing the plan, ultimately I decided that I could not vote for the proposal. There are several reasons why I voted against it. The primary reason is I could not support…

Rep. Norm Thurston: Where Did the Coverage Gap Come From?

Where Did the Coverage Gap Come From? October 27, 2015 by Rep. Norm Thurston Have you stopped to wonder whether the coverage gap came from? Was it always here or did it suddenly appear? You may have heard some of my House Republican colleagues say that Obamacare created the Coverage Gap and wondered how that could possibly be the case. When we say that the coverage gap was created by Obamacare we really mean it. Here is a little Utah insurance market history to clarify where the gap came from.…

Rep. Jeremy Peterson | EXPOSED: Medicaid expansion propaganda and mythology

We held an open caucus meeting during Interim Session this month to discuss some new information regarding Utah’s experience with the Affordable Care Act.  One of the  most revealing topics of conversation had to do with criticism the House has received for its stubbornness in not moving forward with the Governor’s Medicaid Expansion plan as proposed. One of the first arguments that is made by supporters of the plan and the media is that Utah is being penny wise and pound foolish by not expanding Medicaid.  Their argument for the…

Rep. Jeremy Peterson: PENROSE POLICY: The Illusion of Sustainable Medicaid Expansion

We met as a Republican Caucus recently to discuss the new Utah Access Plus plan to expand Medicaid in the state.  With a gap existing in current Medicaid coverage, the Legislature has been toiling for years now to find an affordable and sustainable path to provide medical coverage for those living in the gap. The gap mainly consists of single adults without children who live under 138% of the Federal Poverty Level. There are approximately 130,000 living in Utah without any form of insurance coverage in this gap currently. In the…

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…

If Medicaid expansion is too risky for doctors, maybe it’s too risky for the rest of us

It’s almost humorous to listen to doctors complain about student loans and the cost of doing business in Utah. Either they haven’t lived anywhere else, or they really are oblivious to the lower cost of living that Utah presents to all of its residents, including them. I say ‘almost,’ because the rest of us are paying their bills, and they ain’t cheap. They, along with some people who actually sounded like they need legitimate help, gave lawmakers an earful at a hearing held by the Health Reform Task Force earlier this week. The…

Midday Commentary on Last Night’s News — Oct. 5, 2015

Big week in Utah politics what with Medicaid expansion on the table and the Jason Chaffetz Speaker thing. On one hand, you’ve got a long-shot choice that splits the mainstream left and right, funded by corporations, looks great on paper, and refuses to go away no matter how many times it looks like it might. On the other hand, you’ve got Medicaid expansion.  • The AP runs a piece on Chaffetz bucking the establishment. You can say what you want about the guy, but he’s done a pretty masterful job…