Convention of Statesmen


Medicaid Expansion in Utah

Today I testified on Utah's Capitol Hill against Medicaid Expansion. Yes, ironically, I fall within the gap that would be covered by Medicaid expansion, but I am opposed to the expansion itself. Let me explain in a little more detail.

Utah simply can't afford it. Utah has been voted the Best Run State for several years running. We always balance our budget and have largely been fiscally conservative. I can't believe that Medicaid Expansion is even on the table. It's a further step toward socialized medicine and Barack Obama's fondest dream of a single payer system. This expansion further entrenches Obamacare in the state. Utah shouldn't be doing anything Barack Obama wants as he is the antithesis of anything that is good for America or any state, let alone Utah.

Only nineteen states have exercised the right given them by the United States Supreme Court, hereinafter called SCOTUS. SCOTUS ruled that the federal government could not force the states to expand Medicaid. You would think the Health Reform Task Force comprised of both senators and representatives would know that. But today all I heard is that Obamacare or the Affordable Patient Care Act is the law and we have to do this. No, we don't. SCOTUS ruled that we don't.

To begin with, it isn't fiscally responsible. The State of Utah Medicaid Expansion Assessment (2014-2023 & Mercatus Study Long) stated that Medicaid Expansion could cost Utah taxpayers an additional $328 million above the original price tag of $343 million. Studies have further shown that Medicaid Expansion will rob from other priorities, such as education, as Medicaid spending increases.

Senators and Representatives on the Health Reform Task Force kept throwing around the number of 63,000. That's the number of expected enrollees if Medicaid expands in Utah. Evidence from other states proves that it will easily double, and they aren't even trying to plan for that. I heard a woman speaking for 35,000 refugees in Utah. They are also demanding Medicaid. 

With 70 million Americans on Medicaid, it turns out Medicaid is largely driving our $18+ trillion national debt, and sadly, is expected to double in the next ten years. However, today the Health Reform Task Force in Utah proposed taxing healthcare professionals: hospitals, doctors, chiropractors, etc. in order to pay for the expansion, but we all know they will just pass that on to the patients. I can't believe the senators and representatives on that committee don't know this, so they are willingly levying a tax against sick people to fund Medicaid Expansion.

According to a Forbes article written by Sally Pipes on July 27th of this year Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois all ended up with their projected Medicaid signups more than doubled. Just as it will undoubtedly do in Utah. In Illinois, it was found that:

"Things haven’t worked out that way. A Moody’s report shows that nonprofit hospitals in states that expanded Medicaid didn’t fare any better financially than those in states that rejected expansion. Southern Illinois Healthcare, for example, saw its unpaid bills drop by $9 million. Yet because of the surge in Medicaid costs, the hospital still lost $5 million." Here's Why States Must Resist the Temptation to Expand Medicaid by Sally Pipes

Back to where I began. Yes, I am unemployed and do fall within that Medicaid Expansion gap. However, I am applying for jobs everywhere I can find them. Yes, I need to bring in a minimum of $2,500 a month that excludes quite a few jobs. However, I am trying every day to find a job. I don't intend to fall within that gap for long.

Channel 4 News interviewed me, as did the Deseret News. They simply couldn't believe I was against the expansion. But it boils down to this. I want my state to be fiscally sound, and Medicaid Expansion is not fiscally sound. Socialized medicine is never the answer. Ever. Socialized medicine means really sick people don't get healthcare and often die before they can get to a doctor. Socialized medicines means visits to a doctor are premium and most people end up in the emergency room, which costs a fortune. 

My husband and I often ended up in the emergency room late at night. He had kidney failure and would often move to the front of the line. The place is lousy with illegals all through the night. So when I ended up in the emergency room, I didn't move to the front of the line and after three hours we left and went to Walgreens. We talked to the pharmacist to see what over the counter medicines I could take that would get me through the night until I could see the doctor in the morning. I was coughing so hard I was passing out and it was scaring my husband.

If you think this is going to get better with Medicaid Expansion you are sorely mistaken. Doctors can't take more than 20% of their patients who are on Medicaid or Medicare because neither pay the doctors well enough for their time. Forty nine cents on the dollar. That's it. If the doctors take more Medicaid or Medicare patients than that they'll go bankrupt. That means the emergency rooms will be flooded with sniffles, flus and coughs, just as they are now, but they are planning on doubling, if not tripling it, if Utah approves Medicaid Expansion.

"Just ask doctors. Thanks largely to low reimbursement rates, only half of doctors are scheduling appointments with new Medicaid patients, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. By adding more than 11 million people to Medicaid, Obamacare is making it even harder for beneficiaries to get a doctor’s appointment. Here's Why States Must Resist the Temptation to Expand Medicaid" by Sally Pipes

So it boils down to this, anyone who approves Medicaid Expansion in Utah has voted to force you to pay higher healthcare premiums and services.

Here are the members on the Health Reform Task Force. I suggest contacting them and letting them know you oppose Medicare Expansion in Utah. We truly cannot afford it.

Sen. Allen Christensen Home Phone: 801-782-5600
Rep. James Dunnigan Work hone: 801-840-1800
Sen. J. Stuart Adams Home Phone 801-593-1776
Sen. Gene Davis Cell Phone: 801-647-8924
Sen. Peter Knudsen Cell Phone: 435-730-2026
Sen. Rebecca Chavez-Houck Cell Phone: 801-891-9292
Rep. Francis Gibson Cell Phone: 801-491-3763
Rep. Mike Kennedy Cell Phone: 801-358-2362
Rep. Marie Poulson Home Phone: 801-942-5390
Rep. Edward Redd Cell Phone: 435-760-3177
Rep. Dan Sanpei Cell Phone: 801-979-5711

Copyright 2015. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

Medicaid Expansion in Utah Medicaid Expansion in Utah Reviewed by Candace Salima on Tuesday, October 06, 2015 Rating: 5