Utah Healthcare Initiative Returns Control to States
The Health Care Compact holds that each state should be responsible for its own health care policy, not the federal government. Under a compact, states would be free to create their own solutions to the problems of uninsured citizens.
But the compact is not alone in its efforts to replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). In Utah, which passed legislation to authorize joining a health care compact in March, another measure to reform the state's health care system has been proposed by an organization called the Utah Healthcare Initiative.
In an op-ed in The Salt Lake Tribune last week, Dr. Joe Jarvis, chairman of the Utah Healthcare Initiative, blasted U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch and other Republican candidates for not proposing programs to replace the ACA. "I'm a delegate to Utah State Republican convention,” Jarvis wrote, “and I am looking for candidates who have a vision for health system reform beyond opposition to the Affordable Care Act."
Jarvis refers to the Utah State Republican convention held this past Saturday to determine who is on the ballot. Orrin Hatch failed to win the majority vote forcing him into a June 26 primary election against state Senator Dan Liljenquist.
The op-ed was a response to Hatch, who recently restated his position that the ACA will cost taxpayers more than promised and likely add billions of dollars to the deficit.
Jarvis points readers to legislation supported by the Utah Healthcare Initiative that -- similar to the health care compact -- would allow states to opt out of federal rules and regulations – as long as the a state’s solution demonstrates "better quality care at a lower price delivered to a greater proportion of the population."
Unlike the health care compact, which does not specify any mechanism for health care delivery, Jarvis recommends that Utahns form a single-payer state healthcare cooperative.
If the federal government allows health care compacts, Utah must determine how to implement its compact and how it intends to organize health care at the state level. Certainly, a single-payer, state-run health care cooperative is one alternative.
At the state convention …. I will vote for Republican candidates who are most likely to reach across the aisle and work together with Democrats to solve our nation's problems, beginning with health care.
Utahns deserve an opportunity to capitalize on our lowest-in-the-nation health care costs and organize best practice health care delivery for our own patients. Therefore, we deserve representation in Congress which will move beyond stating an opposition to Obamacare and onto bipartisan legislation enabling state-based health reforms.
As the Health Care Compact spreads and more states pass legislation to take control of their own health policy, we will witness many novel solutions to the problems of escalating health care costs and the uninsured. We'll report on those we find here at the Health Care Compact Blog.
Source: "Hatch and health care," The Salt Lake Tribune, April 18, 2012.
Source: "Obama’s health law must be repealed," Orrin Hatch’s Official Senate site, accessed April 18, 2012.
Source: "Hatch Forced Into Republican Primary With Utah State Senator," Bloomberg, April 21, 2012.
Image courtesy of Michael.Jolley and is used under a Creative Commons license.
Katie McCaskey is a freelance writer and small business owner.