Health Care Reform Will Affect College Students

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Rima Kikani > Junior > English > UMBC
What some of us had once considered impossible has actually happened: the House passed the health care bill, and President Obama signed it into law on March 23, 2010. On that same day, 13 states filed a federal lawsuit against the newly born law.



We all know that the reform will seek to extend coverage to the some 32 million Americans who remain uninsured. It requires that all citizens be covered by 2014, or else they must pay heavy fines. But how exactly does it affect those of us whose lives are governed by organic chemistry exams, grad school applications, and frat parties?
First of all, the federal government will not fund abortions except in the cases of rape, incest, or threat to the mother’s health. Also, those who earn more will have to pay more. Yet, perhaps the greatest impact the law will have on students is that they will be able to remain dependents on their parents’ insurance policy until the age of 26.
Sophomore Washington University student Andrea Perez says the provision makes a lot of sense. “Some students may need it, especially those going to med school,” she says. Indeed, this will ease the burden on students who plan to continue with graduate or professional studies. The plan will also support students who do not have a job that provides health insurance.
However, one of the drawbacks of this resource is that a lot of campus health centers do not accept private insurance.
“The problem is that the vast majority of campus health centers do not accept outside health insurance as payment for services rendered,” says Jim Boyle, president of College Parents for America. “It doesn’t do a lot of good to be able to stay on your parents’ plan if the campus health center doesn’t take it.” Schools usually refuse to accept outside insurance because handling billing for all the different insurance providers would become overwhelming.
Otherwise, the law seems to favor college students, including those who do not yet have health insurance. The plan will make it easier and less expensive for them to obtain coverage.
Richard Blissett, a junior Bioinformatics major at UMBC stays cautious. “I would certainly enjoy these benefits, but I know I don’t know enough about the trade-off. If the trade-off is going to come back and bite me in 50 years, I’d have to reevaluate my position.”
For now though, the Republicans are trying their best to have the law dissolved. Let’s see how far they get.

What do you think about the health care reform?

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