News & Information

Health Care, Struggles of African-American Students, Passover

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Mar 10, 2016 10:43 pm
  • 1:43:44

Cutting the Cost of Health Insurance (1:03) Guest: Scott Schneider, Vice President of Sales for SelectHealth  It’s not unusual for health insurance companies to boost premiums as much as 20 percent a year these days. They say they have to raise rates to keep up with higher drug prices and the fact that many of the people they’re forced to cover under the Affordable Care Act have serious health problems.  But suppose, rather than just passing the higher costs on to you as a premium increase, the insurance company committed to work extra hard at getting the best deals on medical procedures and prescriptions? And the doctors who accepted the plan were as efficient and thoughtful as possible about the procedures and tests they do? And you promised to be extra vigilant about a healthy lifestyle and getting screenings that could catch problems before they become serious? And suppose with everyone working together like that, the insurance company promised to keep premium increases at four percent – much less than the typical increase?  That’s the experiment a nonprofit system in Utah called Intermountain Healthcare has recently launched. Intermountain is known for tracking and analyzing costs and quality of patient care, so this latest attempt to keep premiums low is being closely watched by the industry and was featured in the New York Times.  Struggles of African-American Students (20:33) Guest: Ebony McGee, PhD, Assistant Professor of Diversity and STEM Education at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development  Much educational research has looked at what it takes for minority students to succeed. Closing the achievement gap and attracting a diversity of students to various fields are common goals. Far less attention is paid to the students who are succeeding – they’re not the squeaky wheels, so to speak. But, my next guest says, there is a mental health crisis among high-achieving African American students at predominantly white colleges.  Passover (36:26) Guest: Jeffrey Chadwick, PhD, Associate Professor of Religious Education and Jerusalem Center Professor of Archaeology and Near Eastern Studies  The season of Spring celebration is nearly upon us and not just Spring break vacations and flower-planting. The season brings key holidays for world religions. Easter in Christianity comes on the last Sunday of March this year. Passover in Judaism begins on April 22nd.  Middle East Panel (51:37) Guests: Steven Lobell, PhD, Political Science Professor at the University of Utah; John Macfarlane, PhD, Political Science Adjunct Professor at Utah Valley University; Fred Axelgard, PhD, Senior Fellow at the Wheatley Institution at BYU  “Mixed messages” is one way to describe the latest news out of Iran. Recent parliamentary elections have prompted hope that pragmatic reformers are gaining power in Iran, promising economic reforms and cooperation with the West. At the same time, Iran is drawing strong criticism from the United States for a couple of test firings of ballistic missiles capable of reaching Israel.  Iran is where our monthly panel of Middle East experts starts their analysis today of events in the region.  Nancy Reagan (1:20:32) Guest: Gregory Newell, Former Special Assistant and Director of Presidential Appointments of the Reagan Administration, Former Assistant Secretary of State and later US Ambassador to Sweden  Former first lady Nancy Reagan died of congestive heart failure last weekend at the age of 94. Her funeral is scheduled for Friday.