Saturday, March 29, 2014

No to Medicaid Expansion

I was asked this last town hall about Medicaid Expansion and how I would have voted. I said they didn't have the answer and I wouldn't have voted for them. I was less than clear about what I would have proposed.

Two of the proposed bills are found here:

If you look at the fiscal notes for the bills, you will see that taxpayers would pay between $250 Million to $750 Million, a year, much of it from Federal money, as subsidized by Federal Debt.

 This shows what plans are being considered:

Under the US Constitution, Art. 1, Section 8, the Federal Government should not be providing "ObamaCare". or even Medicare and Medicaid.

However, millions of taxpayers have paid in to Medicare for decades and have been promised services. This is something that can not be undone simply. You can't simply unmake the promises. Most individuals can not get any medical insurance other than Medicare when they retire, other than a supplement. Former Sen. Dan Liljenquist helped in 2011 solve similar problems for Utah by simply telling new state employees that the old plans were not available because we could not afford them, providing what we could and not going back on past promises to existing employees.

Many individuals now find themselves without insurance or the ability to get it because of ObamaCare. A medical insurance plan I looked at over a year ago is now 2 to 3 times more per month because of ObamaCare. When the Federal Government "Helps" and makes things worse, does Utah get involved? That is the question.

At the Town Hall, one candidate quoted some good principles I have heard many times before. They involve the incentive to help people to stay healthy and the lower cost of care and insurance if they do. I hadn't heard the source before, but they had been quoted by Rep.Dean Sanpei many times in trying to make sure Utah didn't go bankrupt dealing with Medicaid, and Federal programs that are not fully funded by the Federal Government. During 2011 and 2012, I voted for several of his ideas.

Rep. Dean Sanpei

 Rep. Sanpei is an Assistant Vice President, Intermountain Health Care (Planning)

The advantage of having members of the legislature from all walks of live, is there are doctors, pharmacists, bus drivers, farmers, ranchers, attorneys, insurance agents, etc. You have to weigh where their conflicts are as well as where their expertise is.

I don't mean to make light of the principles brought up at the town hall meeting. They don't go to the main point of the discussion.

If the US Supreme Court has stated that Utah does not have to expand Medicaid under "ObamaCare" why should we? If ObamaCare is going to be torn down as a failure in the next couple of years, why should Utah create more problems and make it worse?

A recent Op-ED on this subject:

What happened this last session is here:

More information.

Should Utah do something? Yes. The Federal Government, in the attempt to make sure everyone can have medical insurance has made it worse. What we should do re: Medicaid expansion is what we do in other areas where people need help. 

We should provide short term aid and work to provide a long term solution. Prove caps on time and money. Do not take away individual responsibility. This isn't Medicare, something that everyone retiring has to deal with. This is Medicaid, something that was designed for those that can't afford other options. ObamaCare trying to make more people fall into that category isn't the answer.

Don't Expand Medicaid in Utah. Do care, Do provide short term aid and work to solve the long term solution.

Fred C. Cox, Running for the Utah House of Representatives, District 30