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.…

Midday Commentary on Last Night’s News — Sept. 28, 2015

So, you may not know this, but last night’s Blood Moon didn’t actually usher in the Apocalypse. It was just another sign of the existing Apocalypse that has been rolling out slowly for months. I mean, Utah Republicans proposing the full expansion of Obamacare? LDS church leaders dropping like flies? Donald Trump? The Thanksgiving Point I-15 Construction? It’s madness! And it’s right in front of us! Wake up, sheeple! So anyway, for more Apocalyptic fun, here’s Fox 13’s gallery. The blood, it runs red! • In other news, Planned Parenthood…

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…

Some Thoughts on Why King v. Burwell Is Wrong, But Also, Maybe, Right

Occasionally, I’ll be sitting in church, and I’ll hear someone start dissecting the Bible like a piece of legislation: “Well, if Jesus meant ___, he wouldn’t have said ___, because then ___ would be superfluous.”  Or some similar thing. As a lawyer, I understand this impulse — and do my very best to resist it.  I think there is very little, if any, good that comes of trying to interpret scripture according to formalistic rules — rules that I can pretty guarantee that none of Moses, Isaiah, Jesus, Peter, or Paul…

Supreme Court chooses rule of power over rule of law

The U.S. Supreme Court had an opportunity today to reinforce that America is a nation governed by laws, not by powerful men and women. Sadly, it chose to abdicate that principle in favor of legal sophistry. In the court’s other major ruling on the ACA, NFIB v. Sebelius, the court stated clearly it does not have the expertise to make judgments regarding public policy – but the King v. Burwell ruling relies wholly on judgments regarding public policy to justify its conclusion that the plain language of Obamacare cannot mean…

Midday Commentary on hours-old News — June 25, 2015

Pretty big news out of SCOTUS this morning as they perform some pretty amazing linguistic gymnastics (and we know all about linguistic gymnastics around here) to come up with a 6-3 ruling in favor of the ACA allowing the funding of a federally run exchange. Which, of course, flies in the face of a plain reading of the law, but who reads plain language anymore, really? Justice Scalia, who can be a bit of a — what’s the technical term … dill hole? — still knows how to write a wicked…

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…

State Auditor Asks: Should State of Utah as an Employer Comply with the Affordable Care Act?

While lawmakers on Utah’s Capitol Hill debate to what extent to expand Medicaid (Healthy Utah, Frail/Feeble Utah, or Middle of the Road Utah), state government has begun to comply with the employer mandate provisions of Obamacare, raising questions for some about the intrusion of federal law. Raising issues of federalism, on Wednesday, Utah State Auditor John Dougall asked a simple question: “Should the State of Utah as an employer comply with the “employer mandate” found in the Federal Affordable Care Act (“ACA”)?” I called Utah Human Resources and confirmed that the state is…