Letters: Legislature is right to change Prop 3
February 3, 2019
Adjustments to Prop 3 needed
It's heart-wrenching that some deserving Utahns face a health insurance coverage gap when they do not qualify for a federal subsidy or cost-sharing reductions via the federal marketplace and then Utah's Medicaid program also rejects them. However, expanding Utah's Medicaid program through Proposition 3 is not the answer. This will cost Utah more money and 41,000 Utahns will inherit inferior healthcare coverage.
Currently 41,000 Utahns whose income falls between 100 percent to 138 percent of the poverty level have enrolled in very affordable health insurance in the commercial market via healthcare.gov. These plans offer very rich benefits at a low cost, about $25 per person per month. If Medicaid is expanded to the 138 percent federal poverty level through Prop 3, Utahns currently earning between 100 percent and 138 percent of the poverty level will lose tax credits and subsidies which are fully funded by the federal government and move to Medicaid which offers mediocre coverage. Consequently, the state will pick up new costs that are currently paid for with federal tax dollars.
Utahns need to support lawmakers' present efforts to make sensible adjustments to Medicaid's expansion to protect 41,000 people from losing extensive healthcare coverage at an increased cost to state tax-payers.
Utah Association of Health Underwriters past president
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Over the past two years, I have watched the protections of our air, water, lands and health care diminish. I have since increased my civic engagement and have attended Stewardship for Public Lands Committee meetings, at the State Capitol, to voice concern regarding the downsizing of our National Monuments. I questioned the committee about reports of uranium exploration. There was denial until Rep. Briscoe pointed out an article reporting uranium exploration by a Canadian firm near our monuments. Uranium mining would contaminate the waters and be devastating to those who live nearby.
I was particularly disappointed by the "good 'ol boy" attitude I felt amongst many of the legislators and commissioners. This was especially disturbing because there was not talk of "land stewardship," but land ownership. The talk focused on downsizing our monuments and the opportunity the Trump administration provided.
I am a stay-at-home mom, registered nurse, conservationist and a steward of our lands. I have children. I have an obligation, too. That obligation is through the protection of our air, water and land. It is up to ALL of our legislators to vote towards policies and laws that protect our environment, not diminish or destroy it.
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