Anyone needing a new driver license better dig up their citizenship documents and schedule a halfday for sitting in uncomfortable plastic chairs. The start of 2010 means that renewing a driver license requires some form of other valid identification, such as a Social Security card, birth certificate or passport as well as proof of current state residency, such as a utility bill. The new hurdles are to bring Utah in line with federal law—the ominoussounding Real ID Act—that is meant to prevent illegal immigrants or potential terrorists from getting fake identification. Yet it seems, as with other laws meant to improve security, the real people punished are law-abiding citizens. Of course, it could be worse: Full-body scans are not required. At least, not yet.
To hell with health insurance. At least, that’s the attitude of Dr. Michael Jennings in Holladay, who is opening a clinic where proof of insurance is not required. Instead, patients pay flat annual fees, starting at $1,800 for the first member of a household and progressively less for each additional member. The clinic will offer the same basic medical services found at any other clinic, except for X-rays, and will not charge extra (gasp!) for lab tests. Jennings told the Deseret News that he wants to eliminate the paperwork required by insurance companies so he can spend more time with patients. While this won’t eliminate the need for insurance—people would still need to carry medical coverage for catastrophes—it’s a better option than the current medical system, which requires hefty premiums, high deductibles and excessive co-pays, primarily to allow patients the opportunity to grovel at the thrones of insurance executives.
Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman, will continue his quest to scare the bejeezus out of any pregnant woman who dares consider an alternative to giving birth. A bill he is proposing for the upcoming legislative session could make a woman look at an ultrasound of her fetus before aborting it. Apparently, Wimmer is convinced that a woman has not actually thought through something as weighty as abortion, and that simply showing them the fetal images will make them fall in love with the fetus and run away screaming from the clinic.