This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Republican-dominated Utah has refused to expand Medicaid programs, which would cost us little or nothing through 2016, and not that much more in the following years. Under the Affordable Care Act, states have the option (right) to expand Medicaid to provide nearly free health care for Utah residents earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty income. That is about $33,000 per year for a family of four, with the federal government paying most of the cost. In Utah, nearly 125,000 poor people are being forced to buy private insurance subsidized by the federal government; those subsidies leave many of them exposed to paying premiums they can't afford when they lose their jobs or have too little income. So they lose their coverage.
Our Legislature is not "confused." They lack veracity about the reasons not to accept the ACA Medicaid subsidy offered to every state in the Union. That includes Utah, unless we have withdrawn from the Union. The Republicans' arguments lack any sensibility, and they are disrespectful of the basic moral ethic of the great majority of Utah residents.
F. Pearce McNeil