This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch and the tea party ought to be pretty happy with the Affordable Care Act. The overall scheme of creating state insurance exchanges is the free-market system that Utah favored. Prior to the ACA, only two states had insurance exchanges Utah and former Gov. Mitt Romney's Massachusetts.
Additionally, the Supreme Court largely negated the one carrot the feds had to get states to comply funding. Utah wanted the federal money without strings attached; another wish granted.
In contrast, I favored a single-payer system (Medicare for all). At the least, I wanted a public option. Didn't happen.
By its nature, insurance is a socialist endeavor, but our system of government covering the disabled, poor and everybody over 65, while private industry skims money off the young and healthy, is wrong. And the bureaucracy required to force private industry to take a fair share of the bad risk may turn out to be greater than that required for a single-payer system.
At this point, however, if I am Zen enough to work with what we have without whining, Hatch and the rest of Utah can, too. After all, this plan is their plan.