The state legislators voted to close clinics that serve underinsured people. This is during a pandemic that has caused many Utahns to lose their employer-sponsored health insurance because of loss of work. Where are uninsured people supposed to go for health care, especially during a pandemic? Neither hospitals nor legislators want them going to the emergency departments of hospitals. These are the most expensive of care settings.
While we all understand that the revenues are down at the state level because of the pandemic, this doesn’t excuse continuing to fund subsidies for Energy Solutions so they can store nuclear waste near Clive. Energy Solutions receives a $1.7 million break on the fees owed to the state. The Tribune also reported within the past week of thousands of dollars up to a few million dollars to be spent for defending Rep. Cheryl Acton’s ban on abortions after 18 weeks. And in the early phase of the pandemic, the state agreed to purchase an untested app and questionnaire from TestUtah that has continued to not provide accurate information. Millions of dollars were allotted toward unproven technology with no accountability for these “deals done in the dark.”
These budgetary decisions make no sense when we think about who needs healthcare and services. The healthcare needs of Utahns and the needs of schools and social services are real and must be funded.
These budget decisions were made by the legislators, many of whom now want our votes to retain them in office. I submit that we must take a very close look at who they are and what kind of budget decisions they have made. Yes, these are difficult times, but we need legislators and a governor who put the needs of the people of Utah first.
Diane Forster-Burke, Cottonwood Heights