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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Opinion Sampler: Medicaid expansion vs. The Charity Fairy ...

The charity fairy: Charity care won’t solve the problem — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

For years, those opposed to any real overhaul of the American health care system have liked to say that anyone can get free health care at their nearest emergency room. It was a lie then, and it’s a lie now.

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But because that fairy tale has lost much of its effectiveness, some dead-ender Obamacare opponents have come up with another whopper: Charity care can do the job better than Medicaid.

That argument carried the day Monday as the Utah House approved HB391, the bill that would ban Utah’s participation in the expanded Medicaid program offered, and mostly paid for, by the Affordable Care Act.

It was troubling enough to hear Rep. Michael Kennedy raise the groundless argument that 130,000 Utahns who now lack health insurance — who would be added to the Medicaid rolls if Gov. Gary Herbert accepts the federal offer — could be served just as well by hordes of doctors suddenly agreeing to see patients for free.

It was more troubling to realize that he is also Dr. Michael Kennedy, an Orem-based physician, as his argument can only be based on a total misunderstanding of what real 21st century health care entails. And why it costs so much. ...

A Medicaid temper tantrum — Ogden Standard-Examiner Editorial

House Bill 391, which nullifies Utah’s participation in health care reform and prevents Gov. Gary Herbert from negotiating with the feds on Medicaid expansion, is a legislative temper tantrum that needs to be defeated. ...

UPDATE: Utah Senate: No interest in banning Medicaid expansion — Robert Gehrke | The Salt Lake Tribune

Senate Republicans have no appetite now to take up a House bill shutting off the possibility of tapping into federal funding for expanding Medicaid to cover an estimated 131,000 uninsured, low-income Utahns.

The 24 Republicans among the 29 senators met in a closed caucus Tuesday to discuss HB391S2, which would prohibit the state from taking any additional Medicaid money under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and there was not support for the bill, said Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund, R-Monroe.

Brewer's Medicaid-expansion plan good for Ariz. — Arizona Republic Editorial

...Yes, we know there’s no such thing as free money, and it is absolutely correct that the federal match comes, in part, from taxes collected from Arizonans. But lawmakers should bring as much as they can back to the state.It is Arizonans who will suffer, not Uncle Sam, if our hospitals stagger under the weight of uncompensated care. ...

Legislature can’t just oppose Medicaid expansion — Dallas Morning News Editorial

... But there’s more to this story than the $15 billion price tag. The state and communities already are financing the costs of covering these uninsured Texans. They’re just doing it in other, often less efficient, ways. ...

Obamacare's other benefit — Nelson Lichtenstein | For The Los Angeles Times

More than medical care, it can open the door to the democratic empowerment of millions of poor Americans.

Medicaid expansion would hurt state priorities — Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman | For The York (Neb.) News Times

... To no one’s surprise, liberal advocacy groups have voiced support for the optional expansion, but ultimately it would be at the expense of our state priorities, including education. What you don’t hear from them is a discussion about the enormous and unsustainable costs of this expansion and who’s going to pay for it. ...

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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