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Letter: Utahns may die waiting for Medicaid expansion

Published January 18, 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This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

The article "Teen battling cancer awaits Utah Medicaid expansion" in the Jan. 15 Tribune is another example of the paltry state of health care in the U.S. and Utah specifically.

Every day insurance companies deny critical care to those who are insured. My sister died of breast cancer after being denied a new, more expensive chemotherapy that was developed specifically to treat her form of cancer.

Joshua Kahn, the teen in the article, was cut off from Medicaid, halting his treatment for Hodgkins lymphoma, a highly treatable form of cancer, because he didn't "qualify" for Medicaid in Utah. Gov. Gary Herbert refuses to accept federal support to expand Medicaid, which would allow Kahn to get the treatment he needs. How many Utahns will die because of this?

Every other civilized country recognizes the need for universal health care. It may not be perfect. No system is, but ours leaves much to be desired.

Millions are denied care then fill our emergency rooms when health issues become catastrophic and extremely costly to treat. America may have the best medical technology in the world but has a poor record of providing citizens access to that technology.

Michael Feldman, Ph.D.

Salt Lake City