Utah’s health policy

Symposium attempts to address the national health care debate.

On Thursday, Nov. 11, the College of Science and Health, along with the department of Public and Community Health, sponsored a lecture, “Looking to the Future.”

The key areas that were addressed were the accessibility, quality and cost of care and what needs to be done to address them.

“I found it interesting. There has to be a compromise; one way isn’t better than another,” said Tiana Gardner, a Community and Public Health major. “There definitely needs to be a change, possibly merging all of the positive characteristics would be a good start.”

Panel members included John Nelson, M.D., MSPH, former president of American Medical Association and Utah State Medical Association and advisor to national and state councils on healthcare in the community; Joe Jarvis, M.D., MSPH, founder of Utah Healthcare Initiative, former Nevada state health officer, and occupational and environmental health safety consultant; and Bradley Daw, a member of the Utah State House of Representatives Health and Human Services Committee.

One of the areas of discussion was the healthcare exchange, which became available in 2009. This was explained as a place that an employer, typically a small businesses employer, can go and put money in for their employees.

The employees are then able to tailor their insurance to their personal needs. If the employer puts enough money in to have higher-end insurance, then that is what the employee can get. If the employer puts in enough to allow for basic coverage and the employee wants more, the employee is able to purchase additional coverage.

Rep. Daw estimates that there are 300-400 employers already using the exchange. For more information on this program, visit www.Exchange.Utah.gov

Many of the students in attendance were community and public health majors. This subject was particularly interesting to Jacqueline Prerost, a Public and Community Health senior. According to Prerost, she usually tries to avoid politics, especially because as a student she focuses on prevention. But for her it was good to hear another side, and this wasn’t a side she usually sees in her usual studies.

“Students don’t have a good enough understanding from just taking a class,” Prerost said.

Healthcare Management Club President Charlie Forbush said, “As a club, we want to help students understand policies in Utah and nationally.”

Forbush went on to explain that the students graduating in this area of study will be “in charge of these policies.”

The goal of the club is to expose students to different areas and allow a level of transparency so they know what they are going into when they graduate.

This affects all students because “we all pay for healthcare, by paying taxes,” Dr. Joe Jarvis said.

Student Hyrum Perkins said, “Medicine and healing are not synonymous.”

For him, an uninsured student, he will continue to take a “proactive stance towards his health.”

For questions, email UVUHealthcareManagementClub@Gmail.com or find them on Facebook by searching UVU Healthcare Management.

Leave a Reply