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Friday, June 09, 2006

The Public Sector Steps Up

By Pete Knudson
Senate Majority Leader

We received an interesting call from the Governor’s office last night. Apparently, an anonymous donor has committed one million dollars to help fund emergency dental care for Medicaid patients - as long as the private sector raises another million to match it. I think that is wonderful.

We support this charitable private-sector approach. In fact, most of us will put our money where our mouth is and make a personal contribution. We hope all Utah citizens will do the same.

(And please consider there are hundreds of programs and organizations with desperate human needs that have not received media attention. Please remember them in your giving as well.)


Blogger The Senate Site said...

KCPW posted this story earlier today: Lawmakers Join Governor's Fundraising Effort

6/09/2006 3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I already sent my money to the State of Utah for this purpose. It is called "paying taxes." I understand that the Health Department has the money, it is just not allocated to the Dental program.

Too bad Republican legislators have to assuage their guilt by making contributions for Dental health from the funds contributed for their campaigns. Big tears!

6/09/2006 4:33 PM  
Blogger The Senate Site said...

It’s true the Health Department does not need legislative authorization to fund this. Read more about that on Jeff Alexanders’s blog.

Surprisingly, they don’t need two million, either. We understand that they could fund emergency dental for about $900K.

6/09/2006 5:00 PM  
Anonymous Marie said...

I think this is a great idea, actually. It's the way the old CHIP program worked. It wasn't called CHIP back then, but it was administered by BCBS to qualifying families, and paid for by the private sector. I believe it was a much better program then.

6/09/2006 8:34 PM  
Anonymous I the I said...

Unfortunately, not all needs can be met by the State. I agree that there are countless unmet needs, and it will always be so, particularly with social needs.

Health and Humans Services received an additional $100 million dollars of funding this year- and that is more than appropriate.

However, I think the real question here is whether the HHS Committee prioritized their list of programs to fund correctly.

It seems to me the committee could have shifted two percent of their increase to fund emergency dental. While the programs that were funded ahead of emergency dental vitally needed it, the dental and vision programs could have easily been worked into the $100 million.

With a push in the right direction from an anonymous donor, perhaps the Legislature can find a way to juggle their budget and fund the remaining $900,000.

And yes, anon, it is the Fonz.

6/12/2006 10:58 AM  

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