Utah Policy/KSL Insider Survey: Medicaid Expansion

Lawmakers are still considering whether or not to accept federal Medicaid expansion dollars. Gov. Gary Herbert says the state should accept some federal money, while Speaker Becky Lockhart opposes any expansion dollars. Our “Political Insiders” and readers opine on what they think will happen.

Selected anonymous comments:

“Eventually every state will expand Medicaid.”

“What is the worst idea and does the most harm to the poor and working class? That’s what the Utah Legislature will vote for.”

“I think they will adopt Herbert’s plan because no one really wants to take Lockhart’s position. On anything really. I don’t blame them.”

“Undoubtedly, the split baby won’t get any socialist, sex education and therefore reproduce itself so as to require Medicaid.”

“How can we find $300 million for the Speakers education technology plans and ignore the poor and their health needs?”

“Utahns could fill the Energy Solutions Arena three times with the number of Utahns who fall just into the coverage gap. That is not a number you ignore.”

“Everyone knows Becky will not be elected Governor in 2016; Herbert will be. I think legislators would rather have Herbert helping them campaign in their districts than Becky. Call me crazy…”

“They’ll take Herbert’s plan because it actually makes more sense than Lockhart’s, and after all the bluster, Utah really is all about getting as much federal money as it can.”

“It’s the old tried-and-not-true philosophy of cutting of your nose to spite your face. Some of the money that would come for Medicare expansion came from MY taxes – and it galls me that our anointed legislators will happily let other states have it, while asking me for more of my money unnecessarily just to prove that they don’t want to take anything from the ‘gummint.'”

“Lockhart is holding the keys to the car to drive this issue forward. She is keeping them in her pocket. NO IGNITION FOR YOU!”

“It only makes sense to expand coverage if we accept the federal dollars. If we use state dollars alone, we are automatically foregoing a 900% return on investment with dollars Utah taxpayers are already putting into the system.”

“My semi-educated guesses, based on spedning my last two years on this: – Cover everyone to 100% FPL – Seek waiver to subsidize those to 138% FPL to buy Obamacare – Rep. Anderegg will put forward a protest bill, saying that those over 138% FPL will be upset because they till can’t afford Obamacare on their own, so don’t cover anyone – Who knows when any of this will actually go into effect? – Utah will still have lost millions of dollars because of delays.”

“They always take federal money when it works to their advantage.”

“Some legislators think Utah is ‘special’ and thus should be granted special waivers so they can implement a ‘Utah solution.” If they are so set on a ‘Utah solution’ they should have set up a state exchange using Avenue H rather than subjecting Utahns to the federal exchange. They have no interest in improving access to health care for 123000 Utahns. They have no credibility as far as I am concerned.”

“Reducing poverty is essential for children’s health and welfare and education; Medicaid assistance can better help more than almost anything else of equal costs.”

“Utah’s hypocrisy regarding federal funds knows no bounds. The legislature will forfeit funds that could benefit our entire economic base, allowing other states to capitalize on money that is rightfully ours through our paid taxes, while taking all the federal funding they can to build roads to nowhere!”