- 2015 Session
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An Alternative to Healthy Utah
By Allen Christensen
Utah State Senator, District 19
The bill – Access to Health Care – would cover only those below 100% poverty level and the medically frail – or those who seriously need medical coverage – leaving out the group who are significantly more healthy. SB153 also proposes that we cover chronic and seriously ill patients, chronic drug abusers, disabled or blind citizens (as recognized by Social Security Administration‘s definition), and the seriously mentally ill who are in danger of becoming disabled permanently as a result of their illness.
One of the important considerations in this debate is overall cost to the state, and to taxpayers. My proposal would cost a third or less of what the Governor’s would. By passing this reform, would have funds left over in the budget to cover and allocate money to other needs in the Human Services and Health Department, which are critically underfunded right now, simply because we don’t have funding available to help.
The Governor’s plan will take all the money available, and there will be nothing left over for those people who are truly vulnerable, and those who are truly in trouble. The point: Doing nothing is not a good option, however, doing too much (full expansion) or following through with the Governor’s plan doesn’t ultimately solve the issue either.
As of now, Access to Health Care has been numbered and read into the Senate. Follow along – and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
More on SB153:
-Read the bill/view progress at le.utah.gov.
-An analysis on my alternative plan from the Ogden Standard Examiner.
-An op-ed by Ryan Yonk and Megan Hansen: ‘Healthy Utah’ still Medicaid expansion that will cost state in the Salt Lake Tribune.