Health Care In Utah

This past week saw Governor Herbert and the legislature discussing possible Medicaid expansion in Utah. This is a difficult path to tread. The federal government has a long history of holding out a lot of cash and then tying strings to it over time. Nowhere is this more in evidence than Medicaid. As the federal government continues to pull back the subsidy on Medicaid it makes no similar move on it mandates. This leave Utah in the difficult position of allocating ever increasing amounts of state money to a program that is grossly inefficient. As Governor Herbert continues his negotiations with the federal government and with the legislature, I hope he takes a good look at what is being proposed in Indiana. If this plan is approved I believe it will have the best long term results.

Health care is something I have worked on since my first term in the legislature. In my freshman term, I passed a bill allowing state employees the option of getting high deductible/health savings account plans. I also published an article touting the benefits of free market based health care.

In 2010, I passed a bill making county jail inmates more responsible for their own healthcare. This small bit of consumerism has saved the taxpayers of lot of money in inmate medical expenses.

In 2011 I passed a bill improving the state employee high deductible/health savings account program.

And, in 2012 I was the House sponsor of an interstate compact calling for the participating states to opt out of federal control of health care.

I also served as a member of the health care reform task force and was one of the authors if Utah's health care exchange.

Getting health care right can bring big benefits to all of Utah. I believe that if the state had more flexibility we could create a free market for health care that all would benefit from.