The American Health Care Act (AHCA) is dead and, as Paul Ryan said, “We are going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.” However, this does not mean the fight for affordable, adequate health care is over. There are still provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that need to be fixed, and there are still millions of Americans living without affordable health insurance.
One of the main provisions of the ACA was to expand Medicaid to cover millions of low-income Americans who struggled to afford health insurance. As you well know, Utah has yet to provide help to the tens of thousands of Utahns who fall within the coverage gap.
Now - more than ever - is the time to fully expand Medicaid in Utah and make adequate health care a priority in our state.
It is the most economically-sound option: dealing with minor health conditions as they arise and focusing on preventative care is cheaper than providing for very sick, uninsured people. The choice to not expand Medicaid has also resulted in our state missing out on nearly a billion dollars in federal funds. Perhaps most importantly, full expansion is also the compassionate choice. Those living in the gap are human beings - health care is a human right, and Utahns should not have to make the decision between putting food on the table and going to the doctor.
We call on Gov. Herbert, Speaker Hughes, President Niederhauser, and the rest of Utah’s lawmakers to do their duty: fully expand Medicaid to cover those who are still waiting for decent health care coverage.