Medicaid and charity

This is an archived article that was published on in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Re "Utah lawmakers back charity care instead of Medicaid expansion" (Tribune, March 12):

"As a dedicated member of the predominant faith, I donate four hours a week to Boy Scouts. … So what if I was assigned by my faith as a doctor to contribute four hours a week to charity care? What if the 3,000 doctors in the state were willing to do that?" said Rep. Michael Kennedy, R-Alpine, who is also a family practitioner and who voted to bar the governor from accepting federally funded expansion of Medicare to cover more of Utah's poor.

Even if there are charitable doctors who are willing to donate their time, who pays for office staff? Supplies? Who pays for drugs, laboratory tests, X-rays, MRIs, hospitalizations and surgeries?

I cannot believe the Legislature is discussing charity as a viable option to Medicaid. Well, some legislators are discussing it, and some are "crying and quoting scripture."

The Third World depends on charity care. Do Utah's legislators seriously think that is what Americans want?

Let's just choose to call the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act "Romneycare" instead of "Obamacare." That fixes everything, does it not?

Melissa Hofer