Common Sense Health Care for Utah working to make care affordable for all with ballot initiative
Common Sense Health Care for Utah is a group of doctors and business owners seeking to improve access and quality of health care in Utah. Board members are in Park City Thursday to present ideas and start building a plan that will eventually be taken to voters.
CSHCU’s goal is to establish a statewide affordable health plan and get public support for it through a 2026 ballot initiative.
Joe Jarvis is a retired physician who serves as chairman of the board of directors for CSHCU. He said the organization hopes people interested in affordable health care will turn out Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Kimball Junction library.
“We'd like to have any person who has concerns about health care delivery come and tell us what their concerns are,” Jarvis said. “We certainly like to have people with an expertise come and offer it to us. We're looking for stories, what's your story, and every family probably has a story about how hard it is to get the care their family members need. We'd like to know what your story is because the stories will tell us what's wrong and help us direct our efforts to solving all the problems.”
Common Sense Health Care for Utah is a nonprofit founded about a year ago by a group concerned about how health care costs are outstripping people’s ability to afford them.
A 2020 Utah Foundation study named health care costs as the number one concern for Utahns. Jarvis said the group’s goal is to change health care in Utah.
“During the decade between 2008 and 2018, health insurance premiums, the amount paid by the individual grew by 40%,” Jarvis said. “The deductibles went up by 74%, which made the out-of-pocket costs for the average Utahn the eighth highest for any state across the country. And that same report estimated that during 2018, there were over 400,000 Utahns who could not get care because they cannot afford it.”
Jarvis said he is hopeful that by the end of the year, the organization will have done enough research and public outreach that it will have the ballot language firmed up and ready for public distribution.
“It doesn't make any sense for us to try to do something that's not going to make health care possible for everybody," he said. "So, I think it's going to be universal and Americans by and large like private health care delivery, so it's not going to be a socialized system either. It's going to be private health care delivery but it's going to involve making sure everybody has it.”
Get more information about Common Sense Health Care for Utah here.