Healthcare for Utahns

Vision and Mission:

Our health care system is broken. To ensure a vibrant economy and healthy families, every Utahn should have quality medical care regardless of employer, medical history or income.

Our mission is to establish a high quality, comprehensive, truly affordable health care system for all Utahns.

Health care costs in Utah are on the rise, posing an increasing financial burden to Utah families. Even with health insurance coverage, these costs often become unmanageable for Utah residents. Families in the state face the eighth-highest out-of-pocket healthcare expenses in the United States. Utahns contribute $28 billion to health care annually, with a significant portion, at least two-thirds, funded through taxes. Compounding the issue is that the average Utah resident incurs an additional annual cost of $2,800, alongside existing expenses such as taxes, premiums, and co-pays.

In response to these escalating challenges, a group of doctors, activists, and business leaders collaborated to establish Common Sense Health Care for Utah in 2021. The non-profit organization seeks to address this issue by advocating for a comprehensive single-payer health care plan that would extend coverage to every Utah resident, protect the freedom to choose a health care provider and reduce the overall financial burden of health care.

Utah voters will have the opportunity to consider the proposed single-payer plan through a ballot initiative in 2026.

Common Sense Health Care for Utah
Board Members

jarvis

Joseph Q. Jarvis, MD, MSPH
Chair, Board of Directors

“Health system reform is the most important domestic policy problem in the USA.  Health system errors are the third leading cause of death in America.  Health care costs bankrupt 500,000 American families every year, thereby driving the problems of hunger and homelessness.  I can not rest until my grandchildren will enjoy the security of having financing for needed health care through out their lives.” – Dr. Joseph Jarvis

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Emily Bingham
Executive Director & Communications

“Too many Utah families are saddled with debt due to health issues over which they have had no control. Too often, families are faced with the impossible choice: go to the doctor, or purchase food. Individuals often remain in jobs they don’t love just to keep their health insurance, which is often substandard. I’m committed to creating a new way to pay for health care that helps everyone.” – Emily Bingham

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Joyce Gaufin
Vice Chair

 

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Richard Davis
Secretary

 

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Dave Lesser
Treasurer

“The free-market principles that have enabled other sectors of our economy to thrive are not appropriate when applied to health care.  Like all businesses, health insurance companies exist primarily for the benefit of their management and shareholders.  The administrative (business) portion of the US health care sector has grown by more than 3,000 percent since 1970.  It makes care more expensive, more complicated, and less accessible. 

The other industrialized countries in the world provide basic, universal health care to all their citizens.  Their average per-capita costs are less than half of what we spend, and their health outcomes are measurably better than ours.  We could do the same if we redeployed administrative costs into patient care.  That’s what Common Sense Health Care is about.” – Dr. David Lesser

 

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George Groberg
Outreach Committee Chair

“I was a senior partner in a busy pediatric group practice and my patients were skewed toward those with chronic illnesses. It was an honor to work with families who were always willing to do whatever was necessary to help their children get the health care they needed. I also learned much about the financial hardships they experienced, caused by the health care system and due to no fault of their own. I believe that the health care system should be accountable to the people (not the health insurance industry), affordable, accessible and simple to administer. That is just ‘Common Sense.'” – Dr. George Groberg

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Scott Poppen, MD, MPA
Policy Committee Chair

“As a retired internal medicine and primary care doctor, I realized early in my career how our health care system doesn’t give everyone equal access, is wasteful of precious resources due to its complexity, and is unaffordable for many. Although access has improved, the system is still too complex and is becoming increasingly unaffordable for individuals, families, businesses and governments. A complete overhaul of how we finance, and shepherd, health care is in order.  Common Sense Health Care for Utah is the only organization in Utah with the bold vision and courage to accomplish what needs to be done.”
– Dr. Scott Poppen 

 

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Susan Sheehan
Fundraising Committee Chair

anderson

Chris Anderson, MD

baranko

Brent Baranko, MD, FAAOS

walson

Steve Walston

woolsey

Sarah Woolsey, MD, MPH

“Health care is a human right. I have been privileged to work in community health my entire career and am excited for the US to advance our care delivery system to all individuals.  Not only is it the right thing to do, but it is critical to our economic success. We are ready to make this move. Let’s lead the way, Utah!” – Dr. Sarah Woolsey 

Additional Contributing Members

Karina Andelin Brown
Andre Baksh
Daniel Craig Friend

Jan Garbett
Christine Helfrich
Mark Hurst

Make a Difference!

How You Can Help

We are a grassroots, people-powered campaign and we can’t do this without your help! JOIN US! You are the key to better, simpler and cheaper healthcare for all Utahns.

Donate

Together, we can create a future in Utah where health care is a human right and everyone has the freedom to live without medical debt. Your donation will protect the health care rights of other Utahns.

Volunteer

Do you have a passion for health care in Utah? Have you always wanted work in the community for a cause that matters? Do you have knowledge, skills, or a desire to help? Then we want YOU!

Create an Alliance

Are you involved with a similar organization who has the same goals? We want to partner with you and work together so we can impact the most number of people in Utah.