It's up to business to help solve problems of rising health-care costs and to improve public education, according to people heavily involved in these issues.
Scott Parker, president of Intermountain Health Care, believes health-care providers and business executives should form a partnership to do something about soaring health-care costs, while Richard Maxfield, state Board of Education chairman, believes business and educators should cooperate to make the Utah educational system better.Because there have been many changes in the health-care field in recent years, Parker said there are 10 issues that need attention.
In his prepared remarks, Parker said, "In charting a course that's fair to employers, workers, hospitals, average families, suppliers and health-care providers, let's begin what I would like to call a `reasoned dialogue' between those of us who have the biggest stake in today's health-care cost - hospitals and private industry."
"If the state of Utah wants to be a friend of health-care consumers, it could tell the people that Utah is recognized around the country as having one of the most modern, well-equipped and well-staffed hospital systems in the country, a position achieved over time by the prudent use of hospital revenues," Parker said.
Maxfield, who expressed his own views and not the views of the other state board members, said the requirements for a high school diploma in 1989 are preparing students for fewer jobs than did a diploma in the 1950s, mainly because of the expanded technology needed to get jobs.
He said many of the school's problems are the fault of the schools, but often the public expects the schools to solve the problems. "It is difficult to move a system that is so completely entrenched and doesn't provide any incentives to make changes," he said.
Just when a new idea becomes a reality, leadership changes and the program loses momentum. For example, the career-ladder programs, installed several years to reward outstanding teachers, is quite stagnant now, he said.
Maxfield said business has a responsibility to make the public education system better, but didn't give specific ways to accomplish that.