Utah Police Chief: Expanding Medicaid Could Fight Crime
Provo • Police Chief John King on Tuesday called for the Utah Legislature to accept federal funds to extend health insurance for thousands more state residents to prevent future crime, as well as save money.
King made his plea along with a representative of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, an anti-crime organization that supports Gov. Gary Herbert’s Healthy Utah expansion plan, which includes provisions for treatment of mental health issues.
“I’m not here as an expert on health care policy,” King said at a news conference.
But as a law enforcement officer, the chief — who stressed that he and Fight Crime: Invest in Kids are not equating mental illness with criminality — said he knows the toll that mental illness, behavior disorders and substance abuse can take.
“It’s a smart move,” King said of expanding coverage.