Few healthcare topics have received more attention in the past few months than the Utah Medicaid Expansion provision of the Affordable Care Act. While the ultimate decision on whether or not to expand Medicaid lies in the hands of Governor Gary Herbert, Utah Hospital Association’s board has discussed this issue at length and supports a careful and measured approach to any proposed expansion.
Although the promise of additional Federal funding for Medicaid over the next ten years is very enticing, expansion must be done in a cost-effective way that does not unravel the current private health insurance market. It is important to our state’s economic vitality that Utah citizens and businesses have appropriate access to quality and affordable healthcare.
Utah hospitals agree that finding a “Utah Solution” that works for our state, focusing on a free market approach, is important and can be accomplished. As a start, Utah hospitals will support the Governor and the Legislature in finding the additional state funds to cover the currently Medicaid-eligible but un-enrolled citizens who will now enroll due to requirements in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Utah hospitals also encourage Governor Herbert to form a Medicaid Advisory Group to include hospital representatives as well as other appropriate healthcare, business and citizen representatives. This advisory group would be tasked to come up with free market solutions that can help expand insurance coverage, use the federal tax credits appropriately and improve the state health exchange without diminishing the role of private commercial insurance.
By Rod Betit