|By David Sanders; David j. Sanders for the Deseret News|
As a member of the
Injecting consumer choice and responsibility as well as market competition would be possible if we could instead use federal dollars to assist the population marked for
First, our goal of expanding consumer choice is being met. Historically, the
Second, we are realizing our goal of reducing uncompensated care and emergency room utilization. Critics of the Private Option predicted that both uncompensated care and ER utilization would increase. In fact, in the first three months of the Private Option, state's hospitals have reported a 30 percent drop in uncompensated care, while emergency room utilization has dropped by two percent.
While it is true that
In year one, the Private Option only extended cost sharing to those at or above 100 percent of the federal poverty level. In year two, those individuals who fall between 50 to 100 percent of the federal poverty line will be required to pay co-pays.
Year two will also see the introduction of health saving accounts - Independence Accounts - injecting consumerism into the Private Option by incentivizing the newly covered to make wise choices about their health care spending.
Arkansans, and now Utahns, know there are things their respective states can do better than the federal government. Both recognize the importance of caring for the poor among us, both want to use taxpayer money to care for those living in poverty and both want to find their own solutions.
As the laboratories of our democracy,
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