Governor: “Nothing is not an option” for Medicaid expansion in Utah

posted at 9:01 pm on January 23, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

On Wednesday, the Obama administration announced that 6.3 million people had been deemed eligible to join the Medicaid rolls in the first three months of ObamaCare, but how much of that jump is due to the expanded qualifications in some states, versus how much is due to re-enrollments and/or the “out of the woodwork” people signing up for the first time, is still TBD. Meanwhile, of course, the White House is still ardently pushing for the approximately half of the states still holding out against Medicaid expansion to make the oh-so-tantalizing plunge; newly inaugurated Gov. Terry McAuliffe claims he’s got Medicaid expansion in the bag in Virginia, and it looks like Utah may be next up, reports the Salt Lake Tribune:

Utah will expand Medicaid to cover more of the state’s uninsured, Gov. Gary Herbert said Thursday.

“Doing nothing … I’ve taken off the table. Doing nothing is not an option,” the Republican governor said at his monthly news conference, broadcast live on KUED Channel 7. …

Herbert did not indicate which of two expansion strategies endorsed by a legislative Health Reform Task Force he prefers — or whether he has another in mind. He said he will make his decision during the legislative session that begins next week. …

But Utah’s Republican leaders fear the possibility of those federal dollars drying up. As a backup plan, House Speaker Becky Lockhart has floated the idea of setting aside a pool of money to cover unforeseen costs.

And Utah’s Republicans are right to be mighty concerned about that eventuality; as Krauthammer reminded us this evening, a recent study out of Oregon kinda-sorta undermined the entire rationale ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion, via RCP:

But, to me, it just shows how thoughtless and arrogant was the planning of all of this. People said, you know, the experts sit here in Washington and say, well, let’s expand Medicaid up to a certain level, arbitrary level, without thinking it through. One of the reasons that Medicaid was expanded was because the assumption, it was a reasonable assumption, that it will decrease the amount of visits to the E.R. by the poor. So it would save a lot of money. That was the premise. … Well, there has been a study in Oregon, a randomized study of people who sign into [Medicaid] and outside, that shows that it actually increases the use of the E.R. by 40%. So here they are expanding it, acting on these assumptions. The empirical evidence arrives, I guarantee you nothing will change. It’s going to be a huge economic burden on the government and on the country. But it will not change one iota of how the program is administered, even though it was established on a false and empirically shown to be false premise.


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Federal bribery works on the weak.

Bitter Clinger on January 23, 2014 at 9:08 PM

Time to dump the two worker household

WryTrvllr on January 23, 2014 at 9:11 PM

“Nothing is not an option”

But Nothing is an option….

For individuals that can do…

But do nothing….

Electrongod on January 23, 2014 at 9:11 PM

A governor facing reality instead of the pie in the sky dreams of the far right.

loveofcountry on January 23, 2014 at 9:12 PM

Of course it expands visits to the ER. The poor have no desire to take the money they have and pay it on deductible for preventative care. They will just wait till it gets so bad they need to go to the ER just as they always have.

Rocks on January 23, 2014 at 9:13 PM

Well sure because there is a never-ending fount of money in D.C. blowing hundos into the air.

It’s almost over now, just relax and go with it.

Bishop on January 23, 2014 at 9:13 PM

loveofcountry on January 23, 2014 at 9:12 PM

You will starve before you reach your nirvana utopian ponyland.

Bmore on January 23, 2014 at 9:14 PM

Meanwhile over in liberal dreamworld Sweden the public is turning to private insurance so they can actually see a doctor without having to wait a year.

Funny how so much of the world is giving us lessons in how this shiite goes bad in the end, yet the lefties simply avert their eyes.

Bishop on January 23, 2014 at 9:16 PM

A governor facing reality instead of the pie in the sky dreams of the far right.

loveofcountry on January 23, 2014 at 9:12 PM

Do you do for yourself?

Electrongod on January 23, 2014 at 9:16 PM

A governor facing reality instead of the pie in the sky dreams of the far right.

loveofcountry on January 23, 2014 at 9:12 PM

One of my FB friends-he’s a priest in Utah-just referred to Herbert as a ‘RINO Bastard’.
Though I’m in the Republic of Texas-I agree.

annoyinglittletwerp on January 23, 2014 at 9:18 PM

There is already a doctor shortage. By increasing trips to the E.R.. the Medicaid expansion is taxing an already overtaxed system, placing an unreasonable burden on E.R. staff and doctors, and will undoubtedly cause people with serious emergency conditions not to receive the timely treatment they require as hospital emergency room staff are overwhelmed dealing with people with minor complaints who should have made and appointment and went to a primary care physician.

The cost of the Medicaid expansion is not just money. It is the physical toll that will cause doctors, technicians, and nursing staff to retire or seek other employment. It is in the numbers of people with serious injuries and ailments who will receive inadequate care or care that wasn’t delivered swiftly enough. It is, in short, in the cost of human lives.

thatsafactjack on January 23, 2014 at 9:20 PM

A governor facing reality instead of the pie in the sky dreams of the far right.

loveofcountry on January 23, 2014 at 9:12 PM

What reality? That he can be bought off?

And what happens when the Feds cut off the free money for this boondoggle? Where does Utah get the money to continue paying for this expansion?

Bitter Clinger on January 23, 2014 at 9:22 PM

Why did these GOP governors resist the medicaid expansion?

libfreeordie on January 23, 2014 at 9:23 PM

Obama administration offering the Medicaid expansion to hold out Governors: Hey, kid. Want some candy? Get in the van.

thatsafactjack on January 23, 2014 at 9:24 PM

Why did these GOP governors resist the medicaid expansion?

libfreeordie on January 23, 2014 at 9:23 PM

Because it’s the right thing to do!
Love, Texas!

annoyinglittletwerp on January 23, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Why did these GOP governors resist the medicaid expansion?

libfreeordie on January 23, 2014 at 9:23 PM

Cost?

Electrongod on January 23, 2014 at 9:27 PM

We should just make all doctors federal employees, set their wages at $11/hour, and be done with it; Utopia realized.

Why do I have to come up with all the solutions around here, you people need to read a book.

Bishop on January 23, 2014 at 9:29 PM

These lib trolls are just soooo right. I mean like why not expand medicaid? cause like after all, Obama has that stash and it’s like unending and the cash will just keep flowing from that stash just like Obamaphones!!!! Eleventy!!!]]]]

BeachBum on January 23, 2014 at 9:31 PM

Because it’s the right thing to do!
Love, Texas!

You forgot ‘You Stupid Son-of-a-B#&ch…’

BigWyo on January 23, 2014 at 9:32 PM

annoyinglittletwerp on January 23, 2014 at 9:18 PM

Being a Catholic priest in Utah is like being semi-retired. The state is filled with Petunias, running around in funny undies.

bw222 on January 23, 2014 at 9:39 PM

bw222 on January 23, 2014 at 9:39 PM

I think he might be a convert. He’s a really cool guy!

annoyinglittletwerp on January 23, 2014 at 9:42 PM

A governor facing reality instead of the pie in the sky dreams of the far right.

loveofcountry on January 23, 2014 at 9:12 PM

ROFLMAO at the irony. Sing daisy for us HAL. You’re to stupid for words.

HumpBot Salvation on January 23, 2014 at 9:44 PM

Why did these GOP governors resist the medicaid expansion?

libfreeorgan on January 23, 2014 at 9:23 PM

…please tell us!

KOOLAID2 on January 23, 2014 at 9:56 PM

The Emergency Room employee who requested anonymity for fear of retaliation was working that night and says there’s one reason the patient died and was dead for several hours just feet from doctors and nurses.

“I’m saying he died because not enough staff to take care of the number of patients we see each day. We need more staff at St Barnabas hospital,” he said.

But hey! Let’s expand Medicaid so that those who use it inexplicably feel entitled to use the E.R. instead of making regular doctor appointments to see their primary care provider to the tune of a 40% increase in E.R. visits for Medicaid patients.

thatsafactjack on January 23, 2014 at 10:04 PM

Why did these GOP governors resist the medicaid expansion?

libfreeordie on January 23, 2014 at 9:23 PM

Because its a bankrupt junk insurance program that has been proven not to better the health of those on it. Plus Obama’s going to stick the states with the entire bill in a few years.

But you knew that.

Chuck Schick on January 23, 2014 at 10:15 PM

How many people shop at Wal-Mart or just realized they could? Use to shop at Target, but the economy sucks but no I see I can shop at Wal-Mart and the government will give me coupons. Isn’t life grand.

smitty41 on January 23, 2014 at 10:32 PM

Previous to the ACA you did not have to sign up for Medicaid because there was no mandate that you had to sign up for free medical care. So, there are people in the various states who have been eligible all along, but not on the rolls. They were healthy. And, if you went to a hospital, sick, you could get Medicaid if you were one of those people.

Of course, no one has the numbers. We also don’t know who had simple coverage from Bad Apple insurance at their part time job and are now eligible for Medicaid. And who might get medicaid now that they don’t have a job. No one thought of counting them.

Fleuries on January 23, 2014 at 11:14 PM

If a governor pushes for Medicaid expansion, does he or she have to push same-sex marriage too?

BuckeyeSam on January 23, 2014 at 11:27 PM

Fact? Democrats don’t need FACTS!

And just when am I going to see that annual $2,500 in health care cost SAVINGS?

GarandFan on January 23, 2014 at 11:28 PM

Real health care reform will include mandatory co-pays for everything and for everybody, especially the Medicaid patients who clog ERs with minor ailments and disrupt physicians’ and dentists’ offices and clinics by failing to show up for appointments.

High deductibles and copays are a good feature of ObamaCare. The more people are vested in the cost of their own health care, the more attention they pay to costs and the more efficiency they demand from providers. If we ever intend to “bend the cost curve down” it will have to be by ending the practice of insulating people from their health care costs.

Capitalism works, but only if you try it.

Adjoran on January 24, 2014 at 5:04 AM

It is becoming more and more apparent that Obamacare was designed to fail.Medicaid will be the primary insurer of the newly insured.Health insurers will be forced out of business,prompting the government to expand Medicaid eligibility even more.Single payer health care is not far from being a reality,which is what the socialist progressives wanted all along.

redware on January 24, 2014 at 7:57 AM

Real health care reform will include mandatory co-pays for everything and for everybody, especially the Medicaid patients who clog ERs with minor ailments and disrupt physicians’ and dentists’ offices and clinics by failing to show up for appointments.

Yes. People always overuse products and services that are provided to them for “free.”

The reason Medicaid patients overuse E.R.’s is that it costs them nothing to do so. They wouldn’t be using ambulances as “free” taxi services if they had to pay all (or even part) of the cost of those rides. Just like they wouldn’t be showing up in the E.R. for every sniffle or cut finger if they had to pay all (or even part) of the cost.

People always behave more carefully with their own money than they do with someone else’s.

AZCoyote on January 24, 2014 at 8:09 AM

I am proud to say that neither my home state of Georgia or my current residence in Tennessee offer this bull. And I hope it stays that way. Socialists can suck it.

RDE2010 on January 24, 2014 at 8:30 AM

One of the reasons that Medicaid was expanded was because the assumption, it was a reasonable assumption, that it will decrease the amount of visits to the E.R. by the poor.

In what world would that a reasonable assumption? In this country the “poor” have been conditioned to take the easy way out, that would be the ER in their minds. The “easy way” is also the reason that most young people will not, on their own, purchase health insurance that they don’t see as more important as hundreds of other things that they need or want.

whbates on January 24, 2014 at 8:31 AM

In Oregon the health Care web site doesn’t work so people have to fill out a 19 page form to get health care. I wonder how all the homeless in Portland find the time to apply for Medicaid in the first place. If they do sign up do you really think they would head for their local doctor’s office for their check up? Just one more disaster run by a Democrat run state.

regmgr on January 24, 2014 at 10:49 AM

They don’t want insurance… they want free and they want it now.

They don’t want to make an appointment.

They don’t want to make good health choices.

They don’t want prenatal care.

They don’t want preventative care.

THEY WANT FREE AND THEY WANT IT NOW!!!!

roux on January 24, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Why did these GOP governors resist the medicaid expansion?

libfreeordie on January 23, 2014 at 9:23 PM

Because Medicaid is welfare and sane people don’t define success as an increase in the amount of people they can get on welfare.

Good Lt on January 24, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Has climate change caused the prevailing winds to be from the east when west of the Mississippi? (for those that are slow, that would be from Colorado to Utah)

Carnac on January 24, 2014 at 1:23 PM

We should just make all doctors federal employees, set their wages at $11/hour, and be done with it; Utopia realized.

Bishop on January 23, 2014 at 9:29 PM

you just named Canada :)…oh, and the UK :)…only they are both cases of dystopias rather than utopias as far as healthcare is concerned…

jimver on January 24, 2014 at 2:43 PM