It is amazing to me that our Utah Legislature is so stupid and/or mean-spirited to refuse to take federal money to expand Medicaid to cover 55,000 low income Utah residents. The U.S. government would send back tax money we have already paid to cover this critical need.
I can only see two reasons why the Legislature would not pursue this logical approach. One likely reason might be that many extremely conservative, Republican lawmakers are irrationally and dogmatically opposed to the Affordable Care Act.
A second reason for some of the opposition to regular Medicaid expansion is that some of the conservative Republicans and Gov. Gary Herbert want to convince Washington to allow Utah to use their share of returned federal funds for individuals to buy individual health insurance policies that would insure that the already large and profitable health insurance companies make even larger profits.
The Utah Legislature should step up and do the right thing for Utah citizens. They should call a special session, pass regular Medicaid expansion that will be paid for with our already paid taxes. They can then feel good that they took the fair, common-sense solution to a critical Utah need.
William E. Fisher
Salt Lake City
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