Medicaid expansion fiasco. Here's the lede, folks:
It wouldn’t be the Utah Legislature if we didn’t head into the final week of the legislative session without a big ol’ mess on our hands.Read the full editorial, peeps:
That is exactly what we have with the governor’s “Healthy Utah” plan versus the alternative “Utah Cares” plan.
Last week House lawmakers rejected Gov. Gary Herbert’s Medicaid expansion plan in order for GOP lawmakers to push their own proposal to help the state’s poor get health insurance. Friday the House voted 56 to 18 to send the alternative plan to the Senate for consideration. Earlier in the week the business and labor committee voted s 4-9 against the governor’s plan and 9-4 in favor of the alternative plan. We were disappointed Ogden Rep. Dixon Pitcher, who serves on the panel, was absent from that vote. We learned later, though, he was out of town attending his daughter’ wedding, so we’ll give him a pass. We were pleased that Huntsville Rep. Gage Froerer voted in favor of the Healthy Utah plan. Both representatives have told us and constituents they favored the governor’s plan.
The alternative plan actually covers fewer needy people and costs more over a two-year period than the governor’s Healthy Utah plan. The fact the House is even considering such an option makes no sense.
Added bonus from yesterday's Salt Lake Tribune. Compare the features of the State Legislature's own "Cadillac" health care coverage, to the bare bones coverage to the stripped down "Utah Cares," which Republican Utah House legislators favor for the most economically disadvantaged Utah Lumpenfolke:
The health care coverage that many low-income Utahns would get under the plan advanced by the House on Friday may be the insurance equivalent of a Yugo, sponsor Majority Leader Jim Dunnigan acknowledged. "But it still drives," the Taylorsville Republican said (with a completely sraight face), arguing for his HB446, Utah Cares, before a House committee.Yes. Our part-time legislative Republicans have their own plush, taxpayer funded health insurance. Why should they give a damn about the health care needs of the rest of us, we ask?