Former Utah Lt. Governor Greg Bell, now President of the Utah Hospital Association, says it's the "right thing to do" for Utah to move forward with Medicaid expansion.
"We, society at large, are paying for healthcare for the poor right now, which is delivered in a very inefficient means," says Bell. "Who pays for that? We all do. Why not put it in a rational system where people can go to the doctor instead of the emergency room?"
Bell acknowledges the politics surrounding the issue add a lot of volume to the discussion, but he says Utah legislators will be able to see beyond that.
He also mentioned House Speaker Becky Lockhart's gauntlet throwing on the issue, saying her opposition is nothing more than posturing.
"I realize Speaker Lockhart has called out the governor on this, but most people realize that's a gubernatorial move. Legislators will set that aside and ask 'what's the right thing to do for Utahns?'"
Bell knows his position won't be the most popular among the more conservative members of his party, and he's ready to be labeled a RINO (Republican In Name Only).
"I've been called lots of things through the years, but this is the right thing to do. Hospitals aren't rich. They don't have a piggy bank, they have to pass this along to their customers."