Matheson votes to keep 364,000 Utahns uninsured

With word that Rep. Jim Matheson has declared he will vote against the health reform measure before Congress, saying it is complex and doesn’t do enough to curb costs, I can only say I join Utah’s 364,000 uninsured in sincerely thanking Rep. Jim Matheson for absolutely nothing.

Less than nothing. Has worked to improve the bill? Voted to oppose his darling friends in the GOP to keep constant opposition from making the bill too complex?

Or has he simply heeled to the political leanings of the perceived majority of his district where, need one note, a majority of those uninsured live.

This is a disgrace. It is also — since Matheson only cares about reelection — the result of the equally disgraceful gerrymandering of Utah’s congressional district. To have the Second District also contain huge swaths of rural Utah, when it traditionally was just Salt Lake County, was so obviously an attempt  by the state’s so-called leaders to dilute those damned liberals it drew, at the time, national scorn even from the Wall Street Journal.

Now they have their reward –a Utah politician who votes like a republican but pretends to be a democrat, and if the bill fails Utah’s thousands of uninsured will continue to be that way, utah’s small businesses will continue to lose money and employees, and for some reason the state’s republicans will cheer this as a good thing.

If this fails, and if you need medical care, I suggest you contact Rep. Matheson whose office, I am sure, will find you charitable care, since that seems to be the Utah option of choice, as per the Utah legislature.

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12 Responses to Matheson votes to keep 364,000 Utahns uninsured

  1. an old, old man says:

    This is a terrible disappointment. I really thought Matheson would have the courage to do what is right.

  2. flatlander100 says:

    I am not in Cong. Jim Lieberman Matheson’s district — for my sins, I am in Rob Bishop’s district. But if I were in Matheson’s district, this Yellow Dog Democrat would support someone else for the nomination at the state Democratic convention, and if Matheson is nominated again, I’d not vote in the subsequent congressional election at all. I’d go fishin’ instead. The Democratic Party cannot afford spineless Quislings and collaborators carrying its banner on election day — no, not even in Utah.

    I have two adult children in Utah with minimal or no health insurance provided by their jobs. As far as I’m concerned, the Hon. [?] Cong. Matheson can go to hell if he votes to keep them uninsured tomorrow.

  3. Paullette says:

    So many of the “uninsured” don’t want to be insured and certainly don’t want to be forced to buy insurance that’s going to cost them more than they can afford! This is a stupid piece of legislation that Americans don’t want and can’t afford. THANK YOU REP. MATHESON for voting with your constituency and the majority of Americans who don’t want this bad piece of legistation messing up healthcare and chaining us to BIG GOVERNMENT ! There are better ways to reform health care and with this monster out of the way we can get on with doing it right.

  4. John Armstrong says:

    Who said americans don’t want this bill? We, both republicans and democrats, have been trying to get something like this passed for 40 years! If we don’t pass this now, that’s it for a very long time. Regardless of the very few who are without insurance by choice, I am sure that is a small fraction of nearly 400,000 people who would like to be able to afford some of the “greatest health care on the planet”.

    While I wish this plan was more about health care reform (read: universal health care) than health care insurance reform, I’ll take what I can get. It is a start.

  5. ctrentelman says:

    Paulette — the problem is, in socialized medicine — which is what insurance is — the uninsured are not helping pay for the sick. They’re taking a free ride, waiting until they get sick to then buy insurance that will pay for their illness, taking out more than they put in, saddling you, ma’am, with their bill if you, ma’am, have insurance and pay your taxes-er-premiums.

    What the country needs is single payer universal insurance so everyone pays in and everyone gets. The system right now is unfair to you, unfair to me, and a gimme for people who wait until they’re old enough to have higher odds of getting sick, to sign up.

    If they wait until they are sick, of course, they’re out of luck. The death panels, what you call free enterprise system insurance companies, tell them to go drop dead.

    If this is the system you like, hope the vote fails today because it is the system you will have.

  6. flatlander100 says:

    My daughter has minimal insurance through her job. And I do mean minimal. [$2000 per year maximum coverage, after deductibles and copays.] Taken to the emergency room [sent there by her usual medical clinic] for treatment of something that had never happened before last month. Today, her insurer refused to pay a dime for the emergency room treatment on grounds that it was for a \potential prior condition.\ Potential prior condition. Bastards. The lot of ‘em.

    Single payer government insured health care, such as is provided to the citizens of every other nation of the industrial western world as a matter of course, would prevent this kind of thing. It would be much preferable to the insurance reform the President has opted for instead of opting for national health care. But even the president’s watered down insurance reform plan would have prevented my daughter’s so called insurer from refusing to pay for a prior condition illness, much less a \potential prior condition\ illness.

  7. Rosemary Hoffman says:

    Health (insurance) care reform has passed without Rep. Matheson’s vote. However, when it comes time to vote for or against him, either in a primary or general election, I certainly won’t forget. Pretending to be a Democrat, perhaps so he doesn’t have to compete in a Republican Primary, won’t fly any longer.

  8. flatlander100 says:


    Congressman Matheson [R-Utah] won’t have a primary opponent. He waited until nearly the final day to qualify before announcing his “no” vote. The option I’d choose if I were in his district would be simply to “go fishin’” on the congressional election on election day. No need to vote for the other Republican running for Congress in his district. Just skip the congressional vote entirely. If what had once been Jim Lieberman Matheson’s base skips voting this time round for a Congressman, it will retire him to the political oblivion he deserves.

    We don’t need Democrats who make a great show of their standing up on easy votes. We need Democrats who can be counted to stand up on the tough votes. Matheson has proven he will cut and run when the voting gets tough. That’s good to know. And remember on election day.

  9. Annakin says:

    Again Charles Trentelman shows us that this paper richly deserves the sub-standard exaggerator it has been called for decades.

    Maybe Charles can learn some economics or maybe he can’t recall the years of Nixon and price controls that brought about the disastrous economy that did not recover until 1983-84. This bill is nothing but price controls and tax increases.

    One hundred and thirty economists wrote to the President March 18th to tell him that the Health Care bill is a job-killer.

    They wrote: “The bill raises taxes by almost $500 billion (they did not include the taxes in the reconciliation measure) over ten years. A significant portion of these tax increases will fall on small business owners, reducing capital and limiting economic growth and hiring.”

    And they wrote: “The bill will impose a tax of $2000 per employee on employers with more than 50 employees that do not provide health insurance. The bill will also tax employers that offer health coverage deemed `unaffordable’ by the government. These new taxes on employers will reduce employment or be passed on to workers in the form of lower wages or reduced hours.” It doesn’t take much deduction to figure out that if you have 49 employees now, you will never hire the 50th employee. Why would you bring that burden on your business?

    Those with 53 or 54 employees will potentially fire four or five employees in order to go below the mandate. The economists concluded, “The new and higher taxes on America’s small businesses and workers included in the bill are detrimental to job creation and economic growth, especially now given the fragile state of the economy.”

    Doctors will also leave practices earlier and fewer people will go to medical school because there will be less economic benefit (lower supply, bigger demand)

    So when all is said and done on this crazy bill we might be lucky if 364,000 Utahns are still insured.

  10. Michael Trujillo says:

    Hey, Annakin -

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistice, there are 14,600 Economists employed in the US, and you’re up in arms because a mere 130 wrote to the President and Congress? That’s less than one percent.

    To put that into perspective, I bet there are 130 Astronomers who would gladly sign a letter stating that there are Alien cadavers stored at Area 51.

    You throw out “130 Economists” as if it means something. I’ll bet that you don’t even know who the Economists are (although I’m sure you’ll look it up, now that I’ve mentioned it).

    Here are some similarly “damning” letters addressed to the Prez:
    130 Chefs wrote the President to say that the White House dinners have too much salt.
    130 Gardeners wrote the President to say that he’s using the wrong kind of fertilizer in the White House garden.
    130 fashion designers wrote the President to complain that he’s wearing last year’s colors.

    Take your 130 Economists and stick ‘em where the sun don’t shine. Over the past year, we’ve seen how prescient Economists can be.

  11. Annakin says:

    Way to not get the point Michael, Taxes go up, supply goes down demand goes up and prices go up and you end up with NICE

    Try to figure that one out

    P.S. learn basic economics

  12. Michael Trujillo says:

    Nothing in my post implied I don’t know basic economics.

    You held up the “130 Economists” as if they validated your opinion. You mentioned them as if they ended the whole debate. I disagree. Sorry if I didn’t “get the point”. Maybe you should do a better job of making it instead of just saying, “Yeah, what they said.”

    This isn’t about “basic economics”. It’s about what are we willing to do to change a system that’s not working. That always takes sacrifice. What’s the matter, do you think life should be easy and you resist anything that takes you out of your comfort zone?

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