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Medicaid nonsense

Published May 18, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

M. Royce Van Tassell's op-ed, "Medicaid access doesn't improve health" (Opinion, May 12), makes no sense at all. If that title were the case, why does anyone need insurance, including Van Tassell?

He cites studies that say people without health insurance don't have worse health than those who do. Does a person who has diabetes and doesn't know it have the same health as a person with insurance who goes to the doctor, discovers the diabetes and sets up a treatment plan? I am 80 years old and have had diabetes for 35 years, with good insurance.

Van Tassell states that stroke, heart attack and diabetes are common preventable causes of death, and even though doctors treat them, millions of Americans die from these diseases each year. Is this because people don't follow their doctors' orders or because they have health insurance, including Medicaid? Van Tassell's reasoning makes no sense.

He concludes that perhaps there's a better, less expensive way to use Medicaid's money. Van Tassell is on Utah's Medicaid Options Working Group. He should come up with a less expensive way.

Although, it sounds like he already has:­ Don't fund Medicaid — it will make the poor sick!

Dick Dennis

Salt Lake City