Cooke, Herbert Differ on Views of Medicare

(KCPW News) Democratic gubernatorial candidate Peter Cooke says the state needs to stop neglecting issues related to health care. Cooke criticized Governor Gary Herbert’s action on the issue, saying the Governor’s signing of legislation to join an interstate “Healthcare Compact” to remove control of Medicare and Medicaid from the federal government will end up hurting seniors.

“This is not the way to go because it basically pulls away any capacity from our state to be competitive in helping our seniors in our state to the tune of a loss of one billion dollars which means we’ll have to cut a serious amount of our Medicare capabilities in our own state where other states won’t,” Cooke said.

Cooke says the compact has not considered the price of medical inflation.

Marty Carpenter, spokesman for Governor Gary Herbert’s campaign, says Cooke’s message is nothing more than a scare tactic.

“Utah already has some of the highest quality health care in the nation, Carpenter said. “So, all we’re asking the federal government for is rather than paying as we go, give us a block sum of money that’s equal to the money that we’re getting now, so we can administer Medicare and do it in a more efficient way.”   

 There are over 250,000 Utah seniors currently using Medicaid.