Utah needs to support the expansion of Medicaid allowed under the Affordable Care Act. We need to do this because poverty is the single greatest threat to our children's well-being. Almost a fifth of Utah's children and half of single mothers live below the federal poverty level.
Poverty has a significant negative impact on the developing brain. It negatively affects mental, developmental and educational outcomes. Access to health insurance, hence more cost-effective medical care, reduces these negative effects.
In Utah, we say we love children; we have the highest birth rate in the nation. However, not every person or family is fortunate enough, smart enough or healthy enough for our expensive health care. The Medicaid expansion will help cover more children and adults who have no health insurance, and it will allow more doctors to be able to afford to see them.
As a doctor, mother, patient and taxpayer, this is where I want my tax dollars to go. Encourage your state legislators to approve this expansion.
The children of our state deserve it. Until we solve poverty, it is a step in the right direction.
Claudia Fruin, M.D.