Doc who backs governor’s Medicaid plan likely will win House seat
His campaign website has photos of some of his uninsured patients who are dying, or have become disabled, because they can’t afford health care. Among them is a man with untreated Crohn’s disease. "The inflammation around his intestines has eaten four holes out the side of his abdomen. He needs surgery and very expensive IV (intravenous) medication but he has no insurance so he hasn’t gotten them," the website said. "He would be covered under the governor’s plan."
Ward said it’s too early to tell how debate on Medicaid will shake out. He’s one vote, and lawmakers and health professionals are all over the spectrum on the issue, he said.
A doctor in the House
Recent years have seen a steady rise in the number of health professionals in Utah’s Legislature.
Dentist » Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden
Orthodontist » Pete Knudson, R-Brigham City
ER physician » Brian Shiozawa, R-Cottonwood Heights
Pharmacist » Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City
Surgeon » Stewart Barlow, R-Fruit Heights
Family physician » Michael Kennedy, R-Alpine
Nurse » Becky Lockhart, R-Provo
Family physician » Ed Redd, R-Logan
Hospital executive » Douglas Sagers, R-Tooele
Hospital executive » Dean Sanpei, R-Provo
His primary win does, however, reinforce opinion polls showing a majority of Utah Republicans and conservatives support Herbert’s plan.
Support in political corners is also growing. On Thursday the Utah Association of Counties, a group representing the state’s 29 county commissions, voted unanimously to support Herbert’s plan.
"In the echo chamber of the Republican House, there’s a belief that Republicans don’t support the Medicaid expansion or Healthy Utah," said Nehring. "But in the real world, everything indicates this is something people do care about and want the Legislature to solve."