Two men, more than any others, have been most responsible for stopping full Medicaid Expansion in Utah since 2013 – Governor Gary Herbert and Representative Jim Dunnigan from Taylorsville. Gary Herbert has been in office for 10 years. He has not yet figured out how to accept Utah's share of full Medicaid Expansion. Governors of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Montana and even Idaho have got it figured out. Not Herbert.
But I must say, the real Utah Medicaid Expansion killer over the years is the quiet but ruthlessly efficient Representative Jim Dunnigan from Taylorsville. He has been representing the corporate needs of the insurance industry on Capitol Hill, brilliantly, since 2003.
That's $850 million dollars a year – rejected on ideology by our 'leaders' since 2014! They smugly send back the check that would allow affordable healthcare coverage for tens of thousands of desperate, low income, (mostly) working, Utah families.
They have killed Medicaid Expansion slowly. Like the frog in the pan of water. Stalling, setting up useless Commissions and Boards to investigate Expansion. Quietly working the smoked-filled GOP backroom closed caucuses. Efficiently killing full expansion for 6 long years. How many have died waiting for Herbert and Dunnigan's 'Utah Plan'?
Dunnigan (of course he is in the insurance industry) has done more to stop low-income people in Taylorsville, and across Utah, from getting affordable health care than any other single person.
Herbert is going in 2020. Maybe it's time to work to retire Dunnigan--his seat is a toss-up!
(First in a series of reports on what really goes on behind the scenes at the State Capitol--coming up 'the real story' behind the Inland Port. It's a whopper and it’s not just Republicans scheming to bring the pollution factory to the NWQ. You may be shocked!)