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As a Utah Registered Voter
YOU Finally Have the Opportunity to Expand Medicaid
VOTE!!!

Vote “YES” on Proposition 3

2018 is a landmark year in Utah. Three issues will come to us, the voters to decide. These issues include the legalization of medical marijuana, the development of non-partisan board to establish voting districts and the expansion of Medicaid coverage in Utah. As nurses, the last issue hits us where we work and live.

Vote to make a difference in Utah’s healthcare affordability this November!  You, the citizens of Utah can finally decide if and when Utah will provide a system of health care for the poorest people in our state.  We have discussed this issue on these pages for over four years. The Utah Nurses Association has been an early supporter of expanding Medicaid fully in Utah. We have testified, monitored, and advocated for this expansion. Our legislators have worked long and hard and have still failed to expand Medicaid sufficiently to cover even half of the uninsured in Utah. They have passed several piecemeal bills that address a fraction of the uninsured. The latest bill would cover about half the uninsured but includes a request for waivers that have not been granted by the federal government to any other state to date.

So an array of advocates and non-profit groups have banded together to develop the ballot initiative which is Proposition 3 on the ballot you will receive in October to complete.  Vote on this issue, many of you have been supporters of expanding Medicaid and you MUST VOTE “yes” on  Proposition 3.

What does Proposition 3 do?  “Proposition 3 will fully expand Medicaid in Utah under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) . Since President Obama signed the ACA into law in 2010 and the Supreme Court acted in 2012, states have had the option of expanding the federal government’s low-income health insurance program to those who fall into what’s known as the ‘coverage gap’  -- they earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to purchase a plan on the health insurance marketplace. [They have zero chance of getting Medicaid if they are single adults.] Utah is one of a handful of holdout states that has not expanded the program, arguing it would be too costly” (www.kuer.org/topic/2018-elections). 

Costs of the expansion will be covered by $800 million each year which has been paid by Utahns in taxes which have never been claimed and applied to a full expansion of Medicaid in Utah. Instead, these taxes have gone to pay for expansion in other states. This proposal includes a modest 0.15% increase in non-food sales tax which equals about one cent on a movies ticket’s cost. This sales tax will be added to the federal funds (the $800,000/yr) to provide access to care for people under age 65 who make less than 138% of the federal poverty level (or $17,000/yr for a single person or $34,000/yr for a family of four). This will cover about 150,000 people. With a full expansion of Medicaid, the federal government will cover fully 90% of the expansion costs in Utah. The slight sales tax increase will pay Utah’s 10%. For reference, with our current Medicaid coverage, the government covers only 70% of costs with the state picking up 30%.

The most recent estimates of the impact of Medicaid full expansion on Utah’s economy indicate that this expansion will create nearly 14,000 jobs and generate $1.7 billion in new economic activity in our state each year.

You have the power to make care more available to our fellow citizens, many of whom do work at jobs that do not offer health benefits. For more information go to Utahdecides.org  At this website, you can read a synopsis of the proposal AND the full proposition.

Next, reflect carefully on the  implications of a continuing lack of health care for minimum wage workers in food preparation and presentation, child care, retail and landscape work. How do you think the risk of spreading contagion could affect you or your family?  Do you, as a professional, believe that people with minor infections or health problems could avoid serious complications if they could access affordable care earlier in their illness? Should a cancer patient be able to get a major surgery through charity care, but no follow-up radiation or chemotherapy? Is that the world you want to serve as a nurse?

Next, open your ballot and vote accordingly….be sure to vote. Have a voice in the decision. Own the outcome. This is crucial for all of us to do as citizen-nurses. Vote. Vote! VOTE !!! 

References: www.kuer.org/topic/2018-elections, www.Utahdecides.org, www.voterise.org

-- Kathleen Kaufman MS, RN GRC Co-Chair

 

How Do I Register to Vote in Utah?

If you are not registered to vote, you still have time to do so. This can be done online simply with the use of an up-to-date driver’s license. Google “How to Register to Vote in Utah.” This will bring you to a secure state website. In order to register online to vote, your address must match the address on file with the Driver License Division.

If your driver license address is not current, please update your address with the Driver License Division (DLD). This must be done before submitting your online voter registration. After updating your address please allow 24 hours before returning to register to vote online.

If your address is not current with DLD you may still use the online voter registration system, but you will be required to print the voter form with the correct address, sign it and mail it in.

Another way to register to vote is to go in person to the County Clerk’s office, fill out needed forms and mail it in. Be sure to take your Driver’s License ID. You may also go online to justin@voterise.org and follow directions or call 801-979-2511. Voterise is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping people register to vote no matter their demographic status in Utah. Note that in Utah, homeless people can vote just using cross streets as their address and in Utah a person who has been released from prison is eligible to vote. Age requirement is to be 18 on or before election day. Residency requirement is that one must live in Utah for 30 days before election day. You only need to re-register to vote if you have moved, changed your name, or need to update contact information.

The deadline to register to vote online is 7 days before election day and mailing in a registration requires a postmark of 30 days before election day. This year election day is Tuesday, November 6th.

-- Kathleen Kaufman MS,RN GRC Co-Chair

 


Currently, the UNA office is open by appointment only. 

If you need either to meet in person or by phone, please

leave a voicemail at (801) 272-4510 OR

email execdirector@utnurse.org

and we will contact you to make appropriate arrangements.


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UNA Calendar

11/15/2018
UNA Membership Assembly - Annual Membership Meeting

11/15/2018
UNA Executive Committee Meeting

12/20/2018
UNA Executive Committee Meeting

2/22/2019
Nurses Day at the Legislature

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