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…

Rep. Jeremy Peterson: Why I am voting against Medicaid expansion

Today our Republican Caucus will gather to discuss our group’s position on Medicaid Expansion. There are division lines of contention on the subject: Who gets to write a blank check for Medicaid Expansion? Does the Medical Industry pay for the additional clientele or do Utah Taxpayers get put on the hook for them? Is crowd-out morally acceptable? Is it ok for new enrollees to get in line ahead of existing enrollees? What about doctor shortages? Medicaid short changes doctors 20 cents on the dollar for service rendered to Medicaid patients.…

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…

BUZZ: Utah House Majority Caucus to meet on Medicaid expansion

In an email Thursday afternoon (see below), Majority Leader Jim Dunnigan asked Republican members of the Utah House of Representatives to attend a meeting on September 29th.  Representatives will be discussing Medicaid expansion in Utah. Dunnigan said that the meeting is the first of two for the Republican majority on the topic before Governor Gary Herbert calls a special session later this year. From: Jim Dunnigan <   > Date: September 17, 2015 at 4:05:38 PM MDT To: House Republicans <  > Subject: Majority Caucus Meeting Dear Representatives, Please make arrangements to attend a Majority…

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…

Utah House Majority Response to Medicaid Expansion Presser

SALT LAKE CITY – We welcome and appreciate public engagement on crucial policy issues.  Harkening back to a proposal that not only didn’t pass and was only intended to run for a very limited period of time, but would also place us in the same untenable position 18 months down the road, keeps us from looking forward in a constructive way. Since the end of the 2015 general session the group of six, established by HCR12, have been meeting regularly to find a sustainable solution to the coverage gap created by Obamacare…

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…

Midday Commentary on the Weekend News — May 11, 2015

Your PSA of the day:   And now on to the news! First, up Around the Hub: • Former GOP party chair Stan Lockhart gives us a CMV history lesson and some very blunt perspective: “The result is an all-or-nothing approach that has culminated in the Party losing at every turn to get their way. The Party has lost the public relations battle with polling still showing large majorities for an alternate path to the ballot. The Party lost their Legislative battle with their own Republican Legislature super-majority. The Party…

Healthy Utah May Be Improved, But It’s Still a Bum Deal

Healthcare

The Utah Senate today passed SB64 S01, a modification of the Healthy Utah plan to more-or-less implement Medicaid expansion without calling it that. (Because: REASONS.) It makes a number of improvements to the original plan (including numerous automatic termination conditions), but it still maintains a fatal flaw: it doesn’t improve health care. In fact, it’s just a big expansion of subsidies to insurance companies and the medical industry with no expectation of improved quality of care or reduction in costs. Talking points from Gov's office on Healthy Utah 2.0, up…

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

The 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…