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Letter: Utah is not ‘willing and able’ to help uninsured
First Published Jan 31 2014 01:01 am • Last Updated Jan 31 2014 01:01 am

I am flabbergasted by Stuart Adams’ op-ed "Utah should escape the Affordable Care Act," (Opinion, Jan. 25). He writes "Utah is ready, willing and able to clean up the mess created by Washington, D.C." He is implying that Utah would do a much better job with health care than the feds once Utah "escapes" the federal law.

If Utah is really "ready, willing and able," then why have we not done something sooner?

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Depending upon your sources, between 11 and 18 percent of Utahns do not have health insurance and another 10-20 percent are underinsured, meaning if they get sick, they could go bankrupt. About half of bankruptcies come after a major illness which wipes out the family finances.

Also, the state of Utah does not co-fund Medicaid for every person who qualifies, since the needy can rely on charity care.

In effect, Utah is not "willing" to help everyone in our state get health care and therefore, we are simply not "ready."

When will we be ready? Call the governor (801-538-1000), tell him to fully expand Medicaid. That would be one step toward Mr. Adams’ reality that "Utah is ready, willing and able."

Lauren O. Florence M.D.

Salt Lake City

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