Despite Utah’s high rate for overall health, the state was recently ranked among the worst in the nation for health care access and affordability according to a study released by the Commonwealth Fund on Tuesday. The group is a non-profit organization that tracks health care in the United States.
Communications Director for the Utah Democratic Party, Anna Thompson, says the party blames the low ranking on the lack of Medicaid expansion from Gov. Gary Herbert and the state legislature.
Thompson also says the problem is more than just the lack of health care expansion.
“We should also be worried that our money is going to states like Arizona, Nevada, and Florida; they have expanded Medicaid,” Thompson said. “We are subsidizing the cost of their insurance while our citizens are unable to obtain it. Our premiums and our bills are going to cover the cost of the uninsured.”
Thompson says Utah has not expanded the Medicaid program for purely ideological reasons.
“They just need to expand the program,” she said. “There are lots of other Republican governors and Republican state legislatures that have looked at that bottom line, looked at the benefits and screwed up their political courage to do it.”
Other states that ranked low regarding healthcare access and affordability include Montana, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Georgia, Nevada, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi.