medicaid_future

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. 

Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that states can choose for themselves whether to expand Medicaid. In Utah, that would mean coverage for 50,000 uninsured people. Governor Gary Herbert has called federal health care reform "bad policy," but Utah is waiting until the 2013 legislative session to decide. Monday, KUER begins a series on the future of Medicaid in Utah and reporters Terry Gildea and Andrea Smardon join Doug to explore these questions: Can Utah afford to expand Medicaid? Can it afford not to?

Kyle and Chelsea Woodruff
Woodruff family

The expansion of Medicaid as outlined in the Affordable Care Act is designed to give more people access to healthcare services. Without the expansion, a portion of the Utah’s population living on the edge of poverty may remain uninsured. But some believe that Medicaid doesn’t do enough for those who are already enrolled. In part 3 of our series, The Future of Medicaid in Utah we examine the gap in services already provided and the coverage gap that will continue to exist if Medicaid is not expanded.

Bobbi Mathews with a photo of her daughter Katie
Dan Bammes

Utah lawmakers will decide in their next legislative session whether or not to expand Medicaid under the guidelines outlined in the Affordable Care Act.  Unlike Medicare, which is a federal program for the elderly, Medicaid is a partnership with states that provides a healthcare safety net for those in need.

But qualifying for Medicaid is not automatic.  The income and eligibility requirements are complex and the state employs dozens of people to help make those determinations.

Clarissa Blakmer
Whittney Evans

Utah lawmakers are faced with a big decision: to expand or not to expand the Medicaid program. But what do we know about the program? What do people in Utah think they know about the program? And what is life like for those getting help from the program have been transformed by Medicaid?  In part one of our series The Future of Medicaid in Utah, we set out to answer these and other important questions.

“Older people, freebies, handout’s,” says Salt Lake City resident Jeff Steal.

But Steal might have a bit of a simplistic view of the program.