health care

Utah Priorities Project: Health Care

Oct 9, 2012

The Affordable Care Act promises to extend the reach of health care coverage to many people who don’t have it now.  Critics say it will do that at a huge cost in both money and individual liberty.  But the mandate in the law for nearly everyone to buy health insurance has been upheld by the U-S Supreme Court and that requirement will take effect in 2014.  The question facing Utah and the rest of country is how to implement the provisions that are maintained by the states.

A Health Exchange by Any Other Name...

Oct 4, 2012

Utah’s Health Exchange has a new name, along with a new website.  State leaders say they want to distance themselves from the Affordable Care Act.  Starting Thursday, the program which connects small businesses with health insurance carriers will be called Avenue H. 

KUER News Pod: Thursday October 4, 2012

Oct 4, 2012

Our coverage of the Utah Priorities Project moves forward with a look at the Environment, Salt Lake County Mayoral candidate Ben McAdams introduces an education plan, and Utah is seeing the largest number of whooping cough cases in more than 60 years.

Governor Gary Herbert goes on a diet, renovations of State Street in South Salt Lake County near completion, and electric motorcycles hit a road near you.

KUER News Pod: Tuesday September 11, 2012

Sep 11, 2012

Governor Herbert recognizes Patriot Day, the Utah Department of Health moves forward with a controversial overhaul of Medicaid, and University of Utah Professor Dan McCool is optimistic about the state of the countries rivers.

The Utah Department of Health released new data Wednesday estimating that more than 13 percent of the population went without health insurance last year.  That’s about 3 percentage points higher than the previous year, but health officials say the increase is at least partly due to improved survey methods. 

UDOH spokesperson Tom Hudachko says you can’t make a fair comparison between numbers in 2010 and 2011 because state survey methods were changed significantly.  For example, pollsters are now calling cellphones instead of just land lines. 

Some Utah Doctors say the state’s new asthma plan should also address pollution, a confrontation between a Hollywood production company and the Bureau of Land Management has some Utahns worried about the state’s film reputation, and Utah’s GOP delegation at the Republican National Convention takes part in a day of service.

Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Peter Cooke criticized Utah’s involvement in a multi-state plan to take over the administration of Medicare but some key republicans also think that’s a bad idea.

Lawmakers Decide on Benchmark Health Insurance Plan

Aug 17, 2012

The state’s Health System Reform Task Force has decided on essential health benefits that all insurance companies must cover.  Lawmakers argued that the benchmark plan should cover the bare minimum to keep it affordable, but some advocates are concerned that it falls short in some areas.

KUER’s Andrea Smardon takes a look at Salt Lake County’s new Caregiver Academy, Salt Lake City announces the architect for the downtown performing arts center, and Republican Mia Love gets a fundraising boost from the Speaker of the U.S.House of Representatives.

Andrea Smardon

After the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act, states are faced with a decision on whether to expand Medicaid eligibility.  Utah remains undecided.  In the last story in our series, The Future of Medicaid in Utah, we look at how the decision affects all of us as taxpayers and healthcare consumers. 

Utah's members of the U.S. House of Representatives vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the state of Utah accuses a major oil company of double dipping, and the state forester bans target shooting in parts of four counties.

Utah’s Congressional delegation all voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act in the U.S. House Wednesday including Democrat Jim Matheson.

Republicans Jason Chaffetz and Rob Bishop voted along party lines, but Matheson was one of only five Democrats who voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Matheson says he has consistently opposed the bill.

The Salt Lake County mayor’s race finally has an official Republican nominee, the Bureau of Land Management pushes back a decision on the Alton Coal mine expansion, and Utah lawmakers review the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act.

Utah Lawmakers Undecided on Medicaid Expansion

Jul 10, 2012

Since the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, governors in four states have declared they will not expand Medicaid. Utah is currently undecided. State lawmakers met Tuesday to review the Supreme Court’s decision - and Utah’s options.

Republican Representative James Dunnigan of Taylorsville is chair of the state’s Health System Reform Task Force. He says the expansion of Medicaid is a big policy decision for Utah, and lawmakers are still gathering information. 

The Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act leaves Utah to decide for itself whether it wants to expand Medicaid. The court determined that the federal government cannot withhold states' Medicaid allotment if they don't increase their coverage levels. But the federal government can provide extra funds to those states who do choose to expand Medicaid.

Andrea Smardon

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act collected at the Capitol today to talk about what the Supreme Court ruling means for Utah. Judi Hillman, Executive Director for the Utah Health Policy Project, says that changes included in the ACA can now move forward in Utah – including insurance for those with pre-existing conditions.

The U.S. Supreme Court rules on the Affordable Care Act, multiple wildfires continue to burn throughout the state, and Dan Nailen previews one of the biggest concerts of the summer. That and more in today's News Pod.

Utah lawmakers signed a compact this year that allows the state to opt out of federal health care reform and find its own solution to health care funding problems.  But Utah’s participation in the interstate compact may hinge on the US Supreme Court’s upcoming decision on the Affordable Care Act. 

Utah Families to Receive Insurance Rebate Checks

Jun 21, 2012

Insurance companies across the country will be sending out rebate checks to their customers this summer affecting more than 40,000 Utah families. But the decision is tied to the federal health care which could soon be altered by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Utahns Asked for Input on Essential Health Benefits

Jun 18, 2012

Utahns on individual or small business health plans have a chance to weigh in on the conditions and services they think should be covered by insurance.  The Utah Health System Reform Task Force will be taking public comment Tuesday afternoon on its Essential Health Benefit Package.  The federal Affordable Care Act requires that Utah choose among 10 different packages that will determine the bas

Utah’s new health data security ombudsman says more people are signing up for credit monitoring after a state data breach exposed the personal information of 780,000 people, but there are still parts of the population who are not protected.

Senator Orrin Hatch Vows to Repeal Affordable Care Act

May 31, 2012
Andrea Smardon

States are awaiting a decision from the US Supreme Court on provisions of the Affordable Care Act,which will require all Americans to purchase health insurance or face a fine.  But Utah’s Republican Senator Orrin Hatch is vowing to repeal the law, regardless of the court’s decision.   Hatch and Wyoming Senator John Barrasso spoke at a meeting of the Salt Lake Chamber’s Health Reform Task Force Wednesday morning. 

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