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My view: Statehouse, not White House, should lead on health reform

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  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Aug. 2, 2012 7:02 a.m.

    The Affordable Care Act proved an opt out for states to use thier own plan that achieves similar results. All you have to do is DO IT.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Aug. 2, 2012 7:26 a.m.

    So that would be more of NOTHING from our republican leaders in Utah.

    Perhaps the money made from selling off Utah's public lands to your friends in property development could help, governor, but of course that would go into your politicians pockets (including your own) long before it every help a sick person.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 2, 2012 7:48 a.m.

    This is nonsense. Faceless insurance companies bureaucrats in other states make decisions about the health care I can get. A young man working in Utah who is on his parent's policy decides to forego treatment because he is out of network. The list goes on. Health insurance is an interstate issue, and the fantasy of states rights won't change reality. Either we are one nation (think Lincoln) or we are a confederation. Utah has proven it can't go it alone, taking every federal dollar it can grab, while at the same time screaming about states rights. Such hypocrisy!

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 2, 2012 8:04 a.m.

    If the Governor has a plan that would cover more people for less $$, please propose it, and enact it. Then he can have the State of Utah opt out. Vermont has done so.

    I always hear repeal and replace, but never hear a replace with what. Sounds like a two part promise, with the intent of only the first being carried out, and going back to the status quo of before.

    So, Mr. Governor, please propose your plan that is meets the criteria, get your legislature to pass it, sign it into law, then your editorial will be more than whining.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 2, 2012 8:21 a.m.

    Quit talking about how the state SHOULD lead. Get out there an actually lead.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 2, 2012 9:20 a.m.

    The citizens of the State of Utah (as well as the citizens of many other states) have been asking for health reform for YEARS! Massachusetts was the only state to do anything.

    When the needs of citizens were being ignored by the states in which they live, the citizens did what any good consumer does - moved it up the line.

    When states refused to step in, citizens found leaders at the Federal level who would.

    Now that the Federal government has done what the states refused to do, the states are whining that they should be the ones to do it.

    As Screwdriver pointed out, there is an opt-out in the ACA. If Utah thinks they can do it better, then do it.

    But who do they think they are fooling? They haven't done it before, they are not going to do it now.

    Their hyperbole works great to get us all riled up - but it does nothing to help us.

  • John20000 Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 2, 2012 9:35 a.m.

    I would replace the 2,700 page law with a few sentences and get better results.

    Health care for all (not health insurance) is a matter of inviting doctors, nurses, etc. to provide a certain percentage of their time pro bono (for free) as a community service. Let them deduct the time and expense of their pro bono work on their tax return.

    That's it.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 2, 2012 9:47 a.m.

    It would be much easier to believe the Governor’s words if he could point to one instance where state government has done something better than the federal government, for the people of Utah.

    The problem with our local and state governments is that they represent only the business interests and ignore the people’s desires.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 2, 2012 10:16 a.m.

    Okay. Now tell us WHEN and WHAT you propose to do.

    In the meantime -- and for many years now -- thousands of Utahns and millions of other Americans have been driven into bankruptcy by the current system.

    Hot air is all that seems to come from Governor Herbert and from the rest of his party.

    It's time to replace Senator Hatch with Scott Howell and Governor Herbert with Peter Cooke.

    Then maybe there will be a chance that something productive might actually happen.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Aug. 2, 2012 10:46 a.m.

    Let's look at what those who advocate Federal Health Care are really saying. They want Utahns to pay part of the costs for health care in New York and California, where doctors and hospitals charge significantly more than do doctors and hospitals in Utah. They want Utahns to pay for health care for illegal immigrants in California, Arizona and Texas. Hospitals cannot refuse care, but hospitals just pass the cost of that "free" care to everyone else.

    STATE CONTROLLED Insurance companies serve two purposes:

    1. They serve as our agent to pay for our health care costs.

    2. They negotiate with doctors and hospitals to limit the cost of health care.

    A State is the smallest practical unit for insurance. (It takes a lot of people to "spread risk".) A State is the largest practical unit because limits the size of the "risk pool".

    The Insurance Commissioner acts on behalf of the people of the State to allow or to not allow insurance companies to sell policies in Utah.

    The Governor is right. Obama is wrong.

  • Henderson Orem, UT
    Aug. 2, 2012 11:07 a.m.

    So what's preventing them from doing so?

    I don't get it. Repubs are complaining and complaining about health reform right now. Where were they for the past 5 years? 10? 20???

    It's not like this ALL OF A SUDDEN became an issue right now. It has been an issue and a huge problem for decades.

    Yet, they haven't done anything about it.

    You don't wait until 2012 to start a space race against the Russians and complain that we have already lost. Likewise, you don't ignore for decades the health care problem we've had and then complain when someone finally passes health care reform.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 2, 2012 11:20 a.m.

    @J Thompson

    I agree the State should do something. So let's so complaining, come up with a better plan, then we can opt out. The lack of a plan the Governor shows only that he wants to whine and complain his way to reelection.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Aug. 2, 2012 11:47 a.m.

    Darrel,

    The State has done something. They have prevented YOU from forcing the people of Utah to pay for your health care. They have prevented ALL insurance companies from committing fraud on the people of Utah. They have licensed doctors and hospitals before letting them serve our health care needs.

    What the State has NOT done is to force any of us to have health insurance. They have left that choice, and the consequence of making that choice, to each of us. They have NOT forced insurance companies to raise their rates by providing care for PRE-EXISTING conditions, conditions that would have been handled if that person had CHOSEN to buy health insurance BEFORE he became ill.

    We do not live in a nanny State. In Utah, most of the people understand that actions have consequences. They know that if they don't buy health insurance that they will have to pay for their own health care costs. They are capable of making choices and they don't demand that others pay for the consequences of those choices.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Aug. 2, 2012 12:20 p.m.

    "...Of course, we care about better health and an improved system...".

    We?

    We (The Heritage Foundation: aka The Republicans sacred Think Tank)invented the mandate.

    When President Obama proposed the mandate, Republicans were suddenly against it.

    "...Of course, we care...".

    Nice try Gov.!

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 2, 2012 12:32 p.m.

    @J Thompson,

    I respectfully disagree sir. We have proven that "individual responsibility" does not work. How? Because uninsured people have no motivation to seek insurance. If something catastrophic happens, the ER must still care for them. And who pays that bill? Society.

    My wife was born with legs that are slightly uneven in length, and as such, usually is in pain. I am in the military, so she is covered, but what would happen if I left? It is a pre-existing condition, and she would not be covered. Who's fault is that? Not hers, and she would be prevented from doing a responsible thing, getting insurance.

    I believe in the parable of the Good Samaritan. We should be more focused on who needs what, not who pays for what. I believe we are responsible for our actions, but we also live in a community to benefit each other. No man is an island. I believe our personal judgement from the Maker will be how we treated each other, our "charity".

    The government is of, for and by the people. We are the government, so a government health program is our program.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 2, 2012 1:05 p.m.

    The governor is only half right. We need to dump ACA, since it does increase costs and does not really address the problem.

    The thing that most people are getting caught up in is replacing it. We don't need to replace the ACA with anything. Right now there are 2400 or more mandates on insurance companies. Each mandate adds to the cost of insurance.

    If you want to make insurance more affordable, cut the number of mandates, make the cost of insurance less for doctors (especially specialists), and don't tax the medical device manufacturers.

    If you really feel that the poor should have access to preventative care, have the state hire some doctors, cut out the middle man.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Aug. 2, 2012 2:53 p.m.

    Darrell,

    I'm sorry to hear about your wife's health problems, but what does her personal problems have to do with the government?

    People who do not understand the limited role of government are quick to pass their personal problems onto the shoulders of others. They fail to realize that the same Constitution that protects us from paying for your wife's health care problems also protects YOU from paying for our health care problems.

    The Constitution enumerates the duties of government. Anything not on that list is to be left to the States or to the people. Health care is not on that list. The State's role is to license health care providers and insurers. The State is under no obligation to provide you health care. That is your responsibility.

    You are free to help others who are in need. Christians see that as a duty. Christ NEVER told the people to seek help from the Government. He told us to render unto Caesar that which was Caesar's and unto God that which was God's. He never, ever used force to make us help others. He left that decision to each of us.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 2, 2012 3:35 p.m.

    To "Darrel" here is what I have learned about insurance. In cases like yours, you would easily be able to go to a new insurance provider because you have maintained insurance. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) required insurance companies to reduce or eliminate the pre-existing conditions clause if a person could show that they had insurance without a 63 day gap between insurance companies (old to one your are applying to). If did not have insurance previously, for some conditions you may have an exclusion period of up to 12 months where they won't pay for your treatments, but after the exclusion period they will pay.

    In other words, as long as you are responsible and maintain your insurance, the companies do not hold that against you. However, if you are irresponsible they will.

    So, knowing the truth behind the pre-existing condtions argument, how does it feel to know that the ACA rewards the irresponsible by allowing them to not buy insurance until they develop a disease or contract an illness that is expensive enough that they need insurance immediately.

  • SG in SLC Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 2, 2012 3:48 p.m.

    When it comes to the need for health care reform, J Thompson and Redshirt seem to prefer a social/economic Darwinism approach, where those who are fortunate enough to be free of congenital health problems and to either have employer-provided health insurance or be wealthy enough to buy their own insurance are provided with quality health care. This reminds me of a secular philosophy I've read about: "... every man fares in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospers according to his genius, and ... conquers according to his strength" (Alma 30:17 - Korihor speaking).

    Conversely, under the Thompson/Redshirt approach, those not fortunate enough to fall into the aforementioned categories have a much less pleasant outlook regarding their health care, but apparently, that is not society's concern. Again, this reminds me of something I've read: "I don't make merry myself at Christmas and I can't afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned: they cost enough: and those who are badly off must go there. If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 2, 2012 4:21 p.m.

    What Screwdriver said, there's an opt out for any state that can get at least as many covered at no more expensive a cost... so have at it Governor.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 2, 2012 4:52 p.m.

    Those who use scripture to "prove" that the government should force us to be charitable misrepresent Christ. He did not turn to the government for ANYTHING. He did not tell his followers to turn to the government for anything.

    Health care is not a community responsibility.

    We have no guarantee that we will be born with eyes or ears or hands or legs. Should those born with handicaps demand that society pay because they were born with handicaps?

    We have no guarantee that we will ever learn anything in the public schools provided to us. All we are guaranteed is that we will have the opportunity to learn. Should we demand that society pay if we do not use every opportunity offered?

    Insurance is an OPPORTUNITY.

    My first daughter died from cancer when I had no insurance. Some doctors waived their fees. Primary Children's Hospital waived its fee. But, we still had huge medical and funeral bills. Family, friends and neighbors helped us. EVERY bill was paid in full without turning to the government.

    Government fattens itself on our GREED not on our NEED.

    Either buy insurance or pay the bill yourself. It's your choice.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Aug. 2, 2012 5:01 p.m.

    Mostly this call for the States to take the lead is just a smoke screen for doing nothing. 43 million people don't have coverage for any number of reasons, and historically States have done little or nothing. This smoke screen is just to put the issue of health care coverage back to a place where the insurance companies can control access and price.

    Governer Hebert, how much money have you taken from the health insurance industry...?

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 2, 2012 5:09 p.m.

    Much of the massive cost of health care can be attributed to the advertising campaigns of hopsital chains, insurerers, attorneys etc. All of it pure waste, and such confuses and obfuscates. If I can afford it, I'm getting out of Utah - working people have no future here.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Aug. 2, 2012 7:23 p.m.

    Mike said: My first daughter died from cancer when I had no insurance. Some doctors waived their fees. Primary Children's Hospital waived its fee. But, we still had huge medical and funeral bills. Family, friends and neighbors helped us. EVERY bill was paid in full without turning to the government.

    Sorry to here that Mike but the truth is No One waived their fees, they were passed on to the rest of us.
    Or are you suggesting that Doctors and hospitals waive the fees of people who can't afford the care and take the loss while the insurance companies still profit?

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Aug. 2, 2012 7:36 p.m.

    I love some of the 'solutions' being proposed here. Let doctors treat people for free! Let the state hire doctors! Get rid of all those darned regulations!
    It's all nonsense, as is this election year claptrap from the governor. None of it solves the central problems. Poor people can't afford health insurance. If someone gets sick, they're forced to choose between two completely irresponsible alternatives. They can either not treat a potentially deadly illness for a family member, or they can go to an emergency room and rack up a bill they can't pay. And if anyone thinks ERs will just treat them, pat them on the back, and let it go, they've never had the experience of being hounded by a bill collector.
    Obamacare solves both problems, and does so without driving health insurance companies out of business. It's a market-oriented solution. The governor has proposed no solution at all.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Aug. 2, 2012 8:47 p.m.

    Did all you AHC naysayers notice how the British celebrated their "socialized" single payer Government run Health Service at the opening of the Olympics? How is it that the enslaved British don't run the government healthcare bureaucrats out of the country in the name of rugged individualism?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 3, 2012 7:55 a.m.

    To "SG in SLC" then explain how we can lower the cost of healthcare?

    Currently there are not enough doctors to provide care, and it would take a long time to train up enough doctors and medical personnel.

    If you are going to quote scripture, here is a better one. D&C 56:17 "Wo unto you poor men, whose hearts are not broken, whose spirits are not contrite, and whose bellies are not satisfied, and whose hands are not stayed from laying hold upon other men’s goods, whose eyes are full of greediness, and who will not labor with your own hands!"

    Stop being a typical liberal. Society, not the government, is more capable of taking care of the poor. Just look at the Shriner's Hospital, and the Catholic Charity Hospitals. They all all non-profit and have been around for a long time providing free care to the poor.

    Why do you want give your agency away and operate under a system of compulsion? President Hinkley spoke out against doing that in 1986.

  • Republicantthinkstraigh Anywhere but, Utah, Utah
    Aug. 3, 2012 12:00 p.m.

    Your right Red Shirt, just because they say not for profit means they don't charge anything... the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard... IHC in nonprofit too do they not charge. This is all about taking care of the poor because that is what causes the crazy bills to all of us. I don't see why making costs go down for everybody is a bad thing. Please explain...

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 3, 2012 12:49 p.m.

    Happy Valley Heretic,

    How much do you know about the Primary Children's Hospital? Apparently not much.

    Charitable donors give money to that hospital so that the hospital can waive its fees for some children, depending on the circumstances of that family.

    Right after we received word that our daughter had neuroblastoma and that her chances of recovery were 0%, a hospital worker visited with us and told us that we would not be charged for their services. I told that worker that we would find a way to pay. Then, she explained how the hospital worked. She told us of pennies by the inch. She told us of radio and tv stations that held fund raisers. She told us of private donations. She told us that because of the goodness of people throughout the world, funds were set aside for some types of services. Our daughter qualified.

    Some doctors donated their time and services. Some doctors were paid by charitable donors.

    Government was not involved. Insurance companies were not involved. Good hearted people gave their time, their money, and their love to people who were facing the death of a child.

  • George Bronx, NY
    Aug. 4, 2012 12:28 a.m.

    Does anyone else find it ironic that the healthcare solution from the small-government, capitalist, we did it on our own and shouldn't have to pay to support others personal responsibility Conservatives is a government mandate not to buy insurance and contribute to the cost of your care but to force those in the medical profession to do at least some of their work for free - possibly reimbursed by the government, but possibly not.

    Really?

    It is wrong for the government to require every American to have insurance because somehow that means you are going to have to pay for other people's medical costs -

    but it is not wrong to force doctors to contribute their services to those who have no insurance -

    yeah - because that won't get passed on to you - especially not if they receive reimbursement on their taxes or from the government.... /roll eyes/

    How can you even pretend that makes sense in any rational universe?