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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: Expanding Medicaid ...

Greg Bell’s trip through the revolving door — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

The revolving door between those who hold public office and those who seek to influence those in public office will never stop turning.

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In the case of former Lt. Gov. Greg Bell, though, there is reason to hope that public good and private benefit may be fully compatible.

Bell announced his resignation a few weeks ago, explaining that his $104,000-a-year state salary just wasn’t enough as he moved toward retirement. The long-time elected official had scarcely turned in his keys when it was announced that he was taking his abilities — and his contact list — to his new job as president of the Utah Hospital Association.......The issue is whether Utah will do the right thing and take full advantage of the offer made by the federal Affordable Care Act to expand Medicaid eligibility to households with as much as 138 percent of poverty-level income. It is a question much on the minds of people at the state’s hospitals, even though the UHA has as yet taken no position on the issue.

Full Medicaid expansion, though, would pay hospitals for millions of dollars in care they now have to write off, eating some of the cost and shifting the rest to other patients, health insurers and taxpayers. It would also provide coverage to thousands of Utahns who now lack it, to the financial and ethical benefit of all concerned.

If that is what Greg Bell accomplishes as he passes through the revolving door, we will all have reason to be pleased.

Turning down Medicaid an act of cruelty — Paul Krugman | The New York Times / sltrib.com

... many states are still planning to reject the Medicaid expansion, denying essential health care to millions of needy Americans. And they have no good excuse for this act of cruelty.

This isn’t the Obamacare failure I had in mind — Ross Douthat | The New York Times / sltrib.com

... Like the Bush administration in Iraq, the White House seems to have invaded the health insurance marketplace with woefully inadequate post-invasion planning, and let the occupation turn into a disaster of hack work and incompetence. ...

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