Utah organization celebrates 53rd year of Medicare, Medicaid; lawmakers work to cut funds

Utah's Medicaid plan met with criticism at public meeting (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) -- Alliance for a Better Utah is celebrating the 53rd anniversary of the Medicare and Medicaid programs that have served local Utahns since 1965.

As many as 646,300 Utahns are enrolled in Medicare/Medicaid and around 150,000 additional locals could be covered if Utah decides to vote "yes" in November on the Medicaid expansion.

“Utahns appreciate the value and impact of Medicare and Medicaid on Utahns in need,” Chase Thomas, Better Utah policy and advocacy counsel, said in a news release. “Polling shows a steady majority of Utahns with various ideological backgrounds support Medicaid expansion. As such, on this anniversary we believe it is appropriate to voice appreciation for these vital programs that have helped so many Utahns, especially in light of the cuts our Congressional delegation is threatening to make.”

Rep. Mia Love, John Curtis, Rob Bishop and Chris Stewart, all support big cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. So much so, that the 2019 House Budget currently proposes $537 billion in cuts to Medicaid and $1.5 trillion in cuts to Medicare over the next decade, according to a news release. These cut backs will impact hundreds of thousands of Utahns and millions of Americans.

“It is awful that our Congressional delegation, who we sent to Washington to advocate on our behalf, is considering devastating cuts to the healthcare needs of Utahns at a time when health care costs are rising, our population is aging, and while incomes are flatlining,” Thomas said in a news release. “That adds a level of concern and caution to this year’s anniversary."

“At 53-years-old, Medicare and Medicaid should be celebrated for their incredible success in improving the quality of life for millions of Americans and the people of Utah,” Thomas continued. “They mark our nation’s commitment to the principle that no American should be denied health insurance for being too old or too poor. We call on our Congressional delegation to honor that commitment.”

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