Refusing to expand Medicaid, thereby rejecting a $500 million infusion to Utah, is fiscally irresponsible. The governor has come to understand this. He wants to accept the money.
His acceptance, however, is contingent on a change that would overlay a new private insurance bureaucracy on Medicaid, thus wasting as much as 20 percent on new administrative services.
Gov. Gary Herbert still hasn’t gotten the feds or the Utah Legislature on board. There is rumor that the feds may allow this wasteful variance and still send the money to Utah. The Legislature, however, has indicated only refusal. As the governor seeks consensus, there will be months and years of people needlessly dying.
We should accept the Medicaid funds for expansion now, just as the feds want to give it. When we have the money and are helping people, then we can dither about the changes we want to make to the plan.
We have a functioning Medicaid program. The feds want to add money to it. Accepting that money is the morally and fiscally responsible thing to do.
How can we live with ourselves when we allow people to die for what looks more and more like politics?
Lauren O. Florence, MD
Salt Lake City
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