AARP Utah, in partnership with the Association for Utah Community Health, Voices for Utah Children, created a brief video to explain why it makes sense for Utah to expand Medicaid in the state. In Utah, most people on the program are eligible only is they make less than half of what the government considers to be the poverty level.
But under the Affordable Care Act (also know as Obamacare) states were given the option to expand their Medicaid programs to cover more people without access to care. In Utah, this means an additional 123,000 would be covered, including adults without dependent children (who currently are not eligible for Medicaid) and the parents of children on the program. Apart from the humanitarian benefits of the expansion, Utah’s economy would impacted by approximately $2.3 billion through increased growth and an additional 3000 jobs.
Expansion would not only benefit those without coverage, but all Utahns. Most people without coverage do nothing when they’re sick, as they must pay for essential expenses such as rent, food, and utilities. But when they’re really sick, they go the emergency room for care, resulting in huge bills they often cannot repay. Hospitals must then write this off as uncompensated care. Because one in ten Utahns live in poverty, the impact to the state is great–uncompensated care means those with insurance pay more in premiums to make up for the shortfall.
What’s more, the federal government will pay 100 percent of the cost of expansion, and 90 percent thereafter, making the cost to states who expand the program relatively minimal.
To watch the video click here. Contact information is provided to let Governor Herbert and your legislators know of your support.