Midday Commentary on Last Night’s News — Sept. 29, 2015

So, you know, the majority caucuses are meeting today to talk about approving the Gang of Six’s full Medicaid expansion proposal. The pitch theoretically puts the cost on the institutions who stand to gain from it, mainly doctors, hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry. Makes sense, right? Wrong. Businesses don’t pay taxes. People pay taxes. No matter what is said, no matter what the bill ends of promising, you and I are going to pay for any sort of expansion. It’s called pass through. But at least it’s not like the reddest…

BUZZ: Utah Senate Majority Caucus to meet on Medicaid expansion

With the House Majority caucus (aka “Republicans”) meeting to discuss Medicaid expansion on September 29th, the Senate is getting in on the act, too. In an email from Senate Chief of Staff Ric Cantrell to Senate Republicans,  Senate President Wayne Niederhauser and Majority Leader Ralph Okerland asked Senate Republicans to attend a meeting to discuss Medicaid expansion, as well as a few other issues that could be addressed during a special session later this year. Email follows. From: Ric Cantrell Date: Friday, September 18, 2015 at 6:56 PM To: Senate Republicans Subject: Special Caucus Meeting…

The Smart Questions Club: Medicaid Expansion in Utah [video]

Perhaps no public policy debate in Utah in recent memory has seen more polls, advocacy, or money spent on it than Medicaid expansion, whether as Healthy Utah, Utah Cares, or full Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Tonight, at about 9:30 PM, we look at what questions you should be asking with guests RyLee Stowell Curtis, Medicaid Policy Analyst of the Utah Health Policy Project, and Cameron Robinson, former Treasurer for the Utah Republican Party and a writer at FortyFive Politics.

38 reasons Utah won’t see Medicaid expansion this year

It might be 2016, or even 2017, before Utah sees legislative action on Medicaid expansion. A self-imposed July 31 deadline blew past without any compromise between House Leadership and the Governor, despite a loose framework for the compromise. At this rate, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to see Medicaid expansion this year. The 2016 campaign season has effectively begun and as the election approaches, campaign calculus means that the chances of a special session diminish. Forcing legislators into Medicaid during election year is suicide. While the Governor pushes to get a Medicaid expansion deal done, something…

State Leaders Announce Framework for Medicaid Expansion [UPH Wire]

 CONTACT: Aimee Edwards edwards@utah.gov 801.755.3085 Greg Hartley ghartley@le.utah.gov 801.231.2756 Ric Cantrell rcantrell@le.utah.gov 801.647.8944 STATE LEADERS ANNOUNCE FRAMEWORK FOR MEDICAID EXPANSION SALT LAKE CITY – Utah State leaders announced today that they have found consensus around a conceptual framework for Medicaid Expansion. A group of six state leaders has continued meeting since the close of the 2015 General Legislative Session to find a resolution to the ‘coverage gap’ created by Obamacare. The key principles they are working to address include coverage for those most in need, data accuracy regarding assumptions and…

Fact Check: Senator Dabakis was against expanding Medicaid before he was for it

It’s hard to tell whether Senator Jim Dabakis thinks no one is paying attention to his voting history or just if he just flat-out doesn’t remember his own votes. The Governor’s self-imposed July 31 deadline is approaching for an announcement of a plan to address the gap in Utahns’ healthcare coverage (to be called Healthy Utah Utah Cares Utah Elevates*…because it goes well with the license plates, right?), and some legislative leaders are promising it will be better than ever. But “better than ever” is not good enough for Senator Jim Dabakis, who still wants full…

Midday Commentary on Last Night’s News — July 9, 2015

• Utah House funny man, Rules co-chair and all-around decent bloke Rep. Jon Cox has jumped ship for the governor’s office as his communications director. That’s the second Cox the governor has stolen from the House, the place of all things awesome and theft-worthy. You might recall that he grabbed Spencer Cox as his LG a while back. (Who was promptly replaced by Jon Cox.) It should be noted that the governor’s budget boss is Kris Cox, and word on the street is that he’s looking for a place to put…

Jim Dabakis: After tap dancing for 2 years, just take Medicaid expansion!

Utah, quit stalling. Take full Medicaid Expansion. ‘The Gang of Six’ Republicans (Gov Herbert, Lt Gov Cox, Senate President Niederhauser, House Speaker Hughes, Senator Shiozawa and Rep Dunnigan) are deciding who will live and who will die. They are negotiating on whether the state should accept Medicaid Expansion–or not. They are taking their sweet time. The Medicaid Expansion decision is the biggest single issue to face the state in a generation and our state seems paralyzed, unable to make a decision. The reason this is taking so long is not because this…

Utah organizations ask ‘Group of Six’ to avert harmful Medicaid expansion consequences [UPH Wire]

SALT LAKE CITY—In an open letter to the state leaders tasked with resolving Utah’s Medicaid expansion problem, several Utah organizations outlined significant risks to Utah taxpayers and the state’s most vulnerable residents under existing Medicaid expansion proposals. Sutherland Institute, Libertas Institute, the Utah Chapter of Americans for Prosperity, and the Utah Eagle Forum sent the letter today to Governor Gary Herbert, Lt. Governor Spencer Cox, Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, House Speaker Greg Hughes, Senator Brian Shiozawa and Representative James Dunnigan. “Everyone in Utah recognizes the need to care for our…

A Drive By About Obamacare Medicaid Expansion

If someone offered to buy you a car and asked you to pay 10% of the cost, what is the first thing you would do? began Speaker Greg Hughes Wednesday morning at a Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce event on Medicaid Expansion. The answer is: Figure out the total price of the car. If the car is a Bentley, you might have second thoughts since your 10% is still a lot of money. If the car is a Chevy, then the 10% is easier to say ‘yes’ to. That analogy summed…