ObamaCare and college students

By Hannah Bleau | gargoyle@flagler.edu

The world notoriously stereotypes college students as sedentary. Life consists of sleeping in, eating pizza and free doughnuts, wasting money, and half-caring about school. But this stereotype isn’t always true. Many students are faced with many obstacles that they need to overcome, and by no doubt, need all the help they can get. One of the biggest obstacles has been health care, and many college students are wondering about this big question: Is ObamaCare going to hurt or help college students?

Most students are aware of the fact that ObamaCare allows them to remain on their parents healthcare plan until they are 26. In turn, this saves them money and the hassle of dealing with healthcare. Flagler student, Johnathan Tate, saw the perks of this.

“I like the aspect that I can actually be under my parent’s coverage until I’m 26 which makes it a lot easier for students and people under the age of 26 to transition into the market,” he said.

It’s hard to know every little detail that ObamaCare holds. After all, it’s a 2,700-page document and it’s difficult to believe most of Congress even read it after former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi infamously said, “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” That doesn’t include the extra 13,000 added pages of restrictions and regulations.

But a study conducted by the Heritage Foundation suggests ObamaCare might hurt College students. Premiums are projected to increase (many already have). State budgets are already strained. Florida’s budget in 2011 was $69.7 billion.  Over half of the budget is automatically taken for healthcare and similar services, which leaves less than half for education. With the budget already tight, the state may be forced to cut more from the education budget.

In addition, some say ObamaCare will put a strain on the job market, and college students are already having trouble finding jobs in the current economic state.

Others worry about ObamaCare taking over student loans. Flagler College’s director of Financial Aid, Chris Haffner, doesn’t think it will make much difference with the overall access to student loans. He believes taking out the middleman (private companies) will not hurt nor affect student loans. He also said it would allow the government to generate more revenue off of the interest.

Sarah Clarke, an aspiring medical student currently attending USF, believes ObamaCare was unconstitutional from the very beginning.

She is suspicious of the fact that the President’s family and the rest of Congress is exempt from the health care plan.

In a lighthearted, yet serious manner she said, “I think it’s ridiculous how they don’t have to abide by the same care in Congress. Why isn’t Mr. Obama on this wonderful ObamaCare? I don’t see, you know, Sasha in the ER with me. I want to know, where’s she going? That’s what I say.”

Additional taxation is also an emerging concern with ObamaCare. If a student is above 18 and is found to have no healthcare, the federal government will initiate a fee.

“You know it does affect me a lot because I know I have to pay more taxes,” Clarke said.

Tate had a different outlook.

“Well, it encourages people to get into the market a lot easier, but it might be a little bit quick to some conservatives. However, my belief is that people should have healthcare because if they get in an auto accident, if they get into some kind of like crazy circumstance that they need health insurance, they shouldn’t be on the government’s dollar just because they don’t have any health insurance at all,” he said.

Some believe ObamaCare was a power reach by the federal government and ultimately a slippery slope into more government control, but others disagree. Eventual government takeover of insurance is a concern for many.

“Well, I mean the reason why they have the system is to give a check and balance to the pharmaceutical companies that are having high prices. I wouldn’t exactly say as a primary source I would trust the government,” Tate said.

Some students love it, and some hate it. Is it dangerous for the government to be in charge of everyone’s healthcare? Will it help or hurt college students?  It goes into full effect in 2014 so ultimately, time will tell.

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