A monstrous charity

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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

The vote by Utah's House of Representatives to back charity care instead of Medicaid expansion may make some legislators feel virtuous ("Utah lawmakers back charity care instead of Medicaid expansion," Tribune, March 12).

But every time you read a feel-good news article about people coming together to raise funds for one who can't pay their medical bills, remember the scores and scores of people who aren't so lucky.

They don't have a support network to raise funds, and so they just go without health care … until things get so bad that they have to go to an emergency room for "charity health care" that costs far, far more than it would have otherwise. Our health care system has to absorb a highly inflated treatment cost that in the end is passed along to you and me.

Worse than that, even the lucky few recipients of the charity care the Legislature likes so much are not actually lucky. When everything is over, they've lost their entire life savings because of our state's horribly cruel "charity based" health care system.

You call that charity? I call it a monstrosity.

Douglas Hendricks

Salt Lake City