You’re not in good hands: ASUU should let students make their own health decisions

The party-organizing club of the university, also known as ASUU, has decided it wants to be more like our dysfunctional “democratic” government.

In other words, those with little understanding and little-to-no relationship with consequences will soon be making a decision that impacts a huge number of people.

In this case, the good folks at the Associated Students of the University of Utah are deciding whether or not to implement a policy that would dictate whether someone deserves to be a student based on his or her level of conformity to a crumbling health-insurance system.

In an attempt to prevent a handful of students from interrupting the sacred college experience because of health concerns, ASUU and the Student Health Advisory Committee are attempting to price a segment of students out of an education by requiring them to buy health insurance.

In addition, they wish to require those who can afford insurance, but who have made the decision not to buy it, conform to the insurance-based system of health management.

Eighty percent of students already have insurance.

Those who are making the decision about mandatory insurance are likely those who have insurance and are therefore not affected by the hardships and consequences this policy could have.

Current health insurance offered for a U student is around $1,000 per year and is limited in coverage.

The average cost for full-coverage health insurance for an individual in the United States in 2004 was $2,268. Those between the ages of 18 and 24 paid $1,170, and family plans averaged out to be $4,424-though actual costs vary by state.

The health insurance provided for graduate students is an example of the failure of the current health insurance system.

ASUU reports the mandatory graduate programs as a “healthy” plan because it only spends 46 cents per dollar paid in, whereas the voluntary plan available to all students is currently paying out $1.06 per dollar paid in.

The voluntary plan will soon see a premium increase.

The “healthy” plan is the one that, on average, gives you less than half of the benefits you pay for.

As a consumer, I want the plan that is paying out close to what is being paid in.

ASUU reports that premiums will go down as more people are enrolled. This is only true because more healthy people will be paying for care they won’t receive.

The reduction in premiums by mandatory insurance will be minimal.

The insurance system misallocates spending and is weak at promoting health.

Why are ASUU and SHAC trying to force students to support such a system?

Maybe we have forgotten the stories of people who had to drop out of school because tuition increases a few hundred dollars every year.

Requiring health insurance would effectively increase tuition by $1,000 a year.

How many will have to drop out because of costs?

How many are eating Ramen noodles every day, to the detriment of their health, because they want to afford school?

To these people, the benefits of school are worth the risks they assume in other aspects of life.

Students manage their health and possible risks too differently.

Some may want a lot of coverage and some a little.

Some would rather spend insurance money on good food and a pass to the gym.

Life is full of risks, and each person deals with those risks in his or her own way.

Let people be free to make decisions that work for them.

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