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Cuts to Utahn's Medicare Benefits Loom As Health Care Compact Supporters Bring In Out-Of-State Big Guns


Supporters of SB208, Health Care Compact (Sen. S. Adams), have called in the cavalry – an expert witness outside Utah – to help press their case for the Texas scheme that could cut Utahns’ Medicare by as much as $200 million.  But we will not let that stop us.  With your help, we can kill this bill at the first pass. 

SB208 was originally scheduled to be heard in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on February 14, but it was held over until the week of February 20, buying time for the hired gun to make his way to Utah. We expect the bill will be heard on Wednesday, Feb. 22.

The compact would tie Utah’s fate to bottom-feeder states like Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Georgia in asking the US Congress for permission to ignore federal health care law and regulation and, instead, accept steadily diminishing federal health funding in the form of a block grant.  The flow of federal funds would be reduced because the block grant would not keep pace with medical inflation.

UHPP estimates Utah would lose $39 million in federal Medicare funding in the first year alone and another $23 million in Medicaid dollars – a $62 million hit to Utah’s health care system.  Those losses would be compounded year after year because the bill doesn’t account for the fact that the cost of medical goods and services grows at a higher rate than other elements of the economy.
Medicare and Medicaid funding cuts would be compounded by millions of dollars in reductions in other federally-funded programs that would be rolled into the block grant.

The coalition of groups opposing this is growing—Utah Hospital Association, AARP-Utah, American Cancer Society, Utah Association of Home Care and Hospice, many others—but we’re not out of the woods yet! 

To join this group of organizations united against SB208, send email by Tuesday Feb. 21 to
jason@healthpolicyproject.orgFor talking points see our paper against SB208.

This week’s top action!  Send email opposing SB208 to these members of the Senate HHS Committee, in this order:
1.     Sen. Allen Christensen: achristensen@le.utah.gov
2.     Sen. Stuart Reid: sreid@le.utah.gov
3.     Sen. Mark Madsen: mmadsen@le.utah.gov


Who's Up, Who's Down? Executive Appropriations Committee Set to Review Social Services Priorities for 2013 Funding 

How far down the health care priorities list will Utah’s revenues allow the Legislature to go?  The Executive Appropriations committee (leadership) will consider that question when it begins meeting February 21 – the same day revised revenue projections are expected to be announced.

Read more here.



Announcements

SAVE THE DATE…
The Affordable Chocolate Act Turns 2: How Sweet It Is!
 
Join us to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and the end of the 2012 Legislative Session—yes, it will end.
 
When: Friday, March 23, 2012 5:30-8:00 PM
Where: Hatch Family Chocolates
               376 E. 8th Avenue, Suite A
               Salt Lake City
RSVP: NOW to reserve tickets (space is limited). Send email to
info@healthpoliyproject.org.  
This is an evening not to be missed! 

For more information on this and other announcements click
here . 

All Children Deserve Health Care: Let's Keep ICHIA Alive

 ICHIA (the Immigrant Children’s Health Insurance Act)—one of UHPP’s priority issues–has hit an unfortunate roadblock in the Utah Legislature.  It appears as though this issue (SB111) will not be up for formal debate this year.  

Read more here



Recommendations to the Governor for Utah's Health Reform

Last September, Governor Herbert hosted a Health Innovation Summit to “lay the groundwork for a comprehensive plan that will guide Utah’s health system reform efforts over the next several years.”

For more on recommendations sent to the Governor click
here.



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