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Letter: It's time LDS Church supported Medicaid expansion

Published January 1, 2014 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In 1981 the First Presidency of the LDS Church released a statement of opposition to the MX missile project for concerns of morality and the sociological and ecological effects of such a project being placed in Utah. This statement put a halt to a project that many of us felt helpless to stop.

In May of 2013 it was revealed that the Mormon Church was cutting the work hours of their minimum-wage Deseret Industry employees to below 30 hours so the church would not have to provide health insurance benefits as mandated by the Affordable Care Act. The rationalization was that these employees would qualify for Medicaid under the original ACA.

To date, the governor and the Legislature have refused to expand Medicaid (at no additional cost to the state for three years), I think it is time the Mormon Church speaks to this moral issue. The working poor have no future without chronic and acute illnesses being treated.

As a taxpayer I could consider State Sen. Allen Christensen's health coverage "forced charity" for a part-time government job ("Medicaid expansion is just forced charity," Opinion, Dec. 21). It is time to extend Medicaid to the 125,586 adults in Utah who are without health coverage.

Christine B. Helfrich

Salt Lake City