Healthcare Malaise, It's the Water and Protecting Parks | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Healthcare Malaise, It's the Water and Protecting Parks 

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Healthcare Malaise
It speaks volumes that KTVX Channel 4 chose Rep. Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, to talk about the sad state of healthcare in Utah. This is the man whose expansion plan did virtually nothing to expand Medicaid and who has done his mightiest to denigrate the Affordable Care Act in Utah. Uncertainty, he said, is why he never liked Obamacare. Now his self-fulfilling prophecy is coming true. Humana is joining Arches Health Plan in leaving Utah's individual insurance marketplace. This is because, dang, they couldn't sign up enough healthy millenials. The Salt Lake Tribune quoted a federal report saying 80 percent of people could still get a plan for less than $75 a month even if premiums go up. And the Deseret News, looking for the silver lining, wrote about a program to provide financial assistance to an initial 158 individuals at three community health centers. Sigh. Just look at the EpiPen debacle to see how great competition is in the healthcare field.

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It's the Water ...
The news about Facebook is enough to give you whiplash. Negotiations are off; negotiations are on. Let's forget about the few jobs Facebook will bring and the huge financial enticements that will hurt local schools. Everyone knows it's about their cred. But the big issue is, as always, water. You know, that liquid substance we crave in this desert climate—the water we've given away for the presumptive Green River nuclear plant and the water that's now the bone of contention between city water officials and property owners in the Cottonwood canyons. The Salt Lake Tribune reported the controversy, sparked by the unknown Utah Quality Growth Commission's report, "Attack on the Watershed." In other words, landowners complain they can't develop their property because of water rules. Watch for the Legislature to step in and, well, give up the water.

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Protecting Parks
Thanks for the reminder, Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News, that visitors are "misbehaving" in our national parks. Yes, both papers ran the story on their front pages, calling attention to "behavior." Let's see: The Associated Press discovered illegal camping, vandalism, theft of resources, wildlife harassment and, yes, visitor misbehavior. Just in July, law enforcement rangers handled more than 11,000 incidents, the report says. That's more than misbehavior. Some incidents result in citations, but last year, the parks issued 52,000 warnings. These parks are national treasures which AP has noted in a startling manner. Stupidity and misbehavior aside, people need to know it's criminal.

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About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

Bio:
A City Weekly contributor since 1992, Biele is the informed voice behind our Hits & Misses and Citizen Revolt columns. When not writing, you can catch her working to empower voters and defend democracy alongside the League of Women Voters.

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