Utah Thrives – Generic Drugs

Written by: Dan Bammes

Voters across the state of Utah identified healthcare – and healthcare costs – as their top concern in Utah Foundation’s 2016 Utah Priorities Project. Increasingly expensive drugs have helped to push the overall cost higher. Unscrupulous companies that have cornered the market for some important generic drugs and dramatically raised their prices has only made the situation more complicated. In January, the CEO of Intermountain Healthcare announced a joint effort by several non-profit hospital systems … Continued

What’s Utah Doing Right?

Written by: Peter Reichard

Scanning the indicators for economically successful states, any objective observer would need to pause on Utah. As Utah Foundation recently outlined in part of the 2018 Economic Report to the Governor, the state stacks up very favorably in national and regional comparisons. Looking at 2013 through 2016, the most recent three-year period with complete data, Utah Foundation found that our state ranked second in the nation for GDP growth, with an eye-opening annual growth rate … Continued

Utah Thrives – Education Roadmap

Written by: Dan Bammes

For the past several years, the Governor’s Education Excellence Commission has been working on a long-term plan for education in Utah, starting with pre-school and continuing through college. With its publication at the end of November, Governor Gary Herbert outlined a series of goals to guide legislators, school board members and other decision makers in policy decisions over the next ten years. At a Utah Foundation event in December, Governor Herbert’s education deputy, Tami Pyfer, … Continued

There are No Easy Answers on the Question of Voter Turnout

Written by: Peter Reichard

At a year-end meeting this month, Utah Foundation’s board members ranked our findings for 2017. Two of the top-ranked findings pertained to voter turnout. The issue of voter turnout came up a few days later over lunch with a friend who wanted to explore ways to boost the numbers in Utah. Meanwhile, statewide, two separate groups have been gathering signatures for ballot initiatives to rethink the way we elect our candidates, both with an eye … Continued

Bringing Light to the Heat of the Health Care Cost Debate

Written by: Peter Reichard

In each decade, one or two public policy issues emerge as thematic. In the 1960s, for instance, it was civil rights and Vietnam; in the 1970s, it was energy and “stagflation”; in the 1980s, tax reform; in the 1990s, welfare reform; in the 2000s, terrorism. For our current decade, health care has come to dominate. Utah mirrors the nation on this. In a 2016 statewide survey, Utah Foundation found that health care was the number … Continued

Looking Back on 2017: The Top 5 Findings

Written by: Peter Reichard

Each December, Utah Foundation’s Board of Trustees gathers to look back over the previous year’s accomplishments. As part of the review, the board ranks the year’s research findings based on which findings they found most remarkable. The following are the top 5 findings of 2017. Number 5: Despite experiencing below-average unemployment rates for the past four years, wages were not increasing as expected in a tight labor market. In May 2017, Utah Foundation released Help … Continued

Utah Thrives – Technical Education

Written by: Dan Bammes

As he announced his budget proposal for the coming year, Governor Gary Herbert proclaimed 2018 the Year of Technical Education in Utah. He set the goal of leading the nation in the number of students completing a high-quality technical education. His budget proposal includes more than nine million dollars in new funding for the institutions that provide it. In this edition of Utah Thrives, we hear from the head of Utah’s System of Technical Colleges, … Continued

Utah Thrives – Voter Participation

Written by: Dan Bammes

Utah once had one of the highest rates of voter participation in the country, but today it’s dropped to 39th among the states. Utah Foundation has been studying the issue of voter turnout for quite a while, and a new research brief shows the situation isn’t improving. In this edition of Utah Thrives, Utah Foundation President Peter Reichard and Vice-President Shawn Teigen offer their thoughts on the factors associated with low participation, including uncompetitive elections. … Continued

Utah Thrives — Microgrids

Written by: Dan Bammes

We often think of electric power systems as regional in scale — a huge grid of high-voltage power lines connecting dams, power plants and substations to industry and homes across a wide area. That’s how they have evolved over the past century or more. But the idea of smaller, independent power systems that become components of the larger grid while serving their own communities is also becoming current. In this edition of Utah Thrives, we … Continued

Remember Utah’s Indispensable Coal Counties

Written by: Dan Bammes

During a presidential race in the not-too-distant past, one candidate campaigned successfully on his outreach to blue-collar voters, whom he called “the forgotten Americans.” There was a time when blue-collar types were far from forgotten. The most popular TV character was “Happy Days’” the Fonz – an auto mechanic. His circle of friends included Laverne and Shirley – factory workers. Archie Bunker, meanwhile, was a loading dock foreman. James Evans of “Good Times” was a … Continued