The Chronicle’s View: Health insurance concerns need closer examination

Right now, the Associated Students of the University of Utah and the Student Heath Advisory Committee are leading a campaign to evaluate the health insurance program at the U and the number of uninsured students attending our campus.

There are many reasons to change our current health insurance program. Right now, SHAC is recommending that the U implement a hard-waiver system in which students must prove that they have some pre-existing form of health insurance, buy into the university health insurance program or get some other insurance provider to cover their medical needs.

Of course, many other options are being considered, including changing nothing with the current system, mandating that all students buy into the student health insurance plan, raising student fees, instituting a soft-waiver program, etc.

With the current healthcare crisis in America, it is clear that something needs to change. However, that is not an excuse to rush into something without thinking it through. Doing the wrong thing could ultimately be worse than doing nothing at all.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to figure out what students really want in such a short timeframe-ASUU is calling a special voting session in less than two weeks to pass a resolution on the issue.

This year’s administration is not entirely to blame. Why didn’t previous ASUU administrations do something about this issue when SHAC first began raising its concerns? This campaign is coming out of the blue for many students. Is it really fair to suddenly ask them to make a somewhat monumental decision-and in such a short amount of time?

Most students do not fully understand this issue, for one reason or another. The fact that this is an important issue and something needs to be done about it is no excuse to rush into something based on unclear information.

Students need to do their best to educate themselves on these issues in the next few days, and they can contact officials at SHAC and ASUU with their questions. An information session will be held Nov. 22 in the Union Den for students to ask questions and voice their concerns to SHAC leaders and ASUU officials.