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Utah nurses rally for Medicaid expansion

Published November 12, 2013 7:51 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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

Utah doctors and hospitals may not fully embrace expanding Medicaid to cover the working poor and uninsured.

But the Utah Nurses Association has unequivocally endorsed the expansion and will show their support at a Capitol Hill rally next week.

"What does this expanded Medicaid mean for the vulnerable poor of Utah? Instead of episodic "charity" care that deals with one isolated crisis at a time, true primary care including screenings will be possible for the new Medicaid recipients," writes the association's president, Kathleen Kaufman on the group's website.

"What does this mean for you, the employed (and insured) professional nurses of Utah? The expansion means that you will care for fewer uninsured complex patients who have extensive late stage diseases. This means the care you give may actually save more lives, improving lives instead of simply buying time for patients who are too sick to recover."

Nurses will join other medical professional groups — including the Utah Academy of Family Physicians and Utah Academy of Pediatrics — for a pro-expansion rally next Wednesday at noon in the Capitol rotunda.

Not participating in the event are the state's two largest health industry lobbies, the Utah Medical Association and Utah Hospital Association, which remain neutral on the issue.

Organizers of the event invite interested citizens to join the demonstration and will set up stations to register people to vote.

The event runs from noon to 2 p.m. For more information, visit utahnsforthemedicaidexpansion.org.