Health care mandate stirs controversy
While we recognize that the general American trend is heading in the direction of mandatory healthcare fees, we feel that it University students cannot be expected to pay up to $2,000 for new health fees in September. If New Jersey State bills A3546 and S2291 pass, then students statewide will see an upturn in their tuition bills. As New Jersey’s largest higher education institution, this is problematic and can create a tremendous burden on the student body.
The rules here are simple: if you have private insurance, you may keep it. If you are uninsured, you will be presented with a brand new charge, which threatens to increase $400-600 per year. The existing low-cost healthcare plans that have been available in the 2012-2013 school year have allowed a number of students to remain enrolled in the University. We fear that mandatory charges may negatively impact enrollment of college students that will not be able to afford it. On top of this issue, the mandatory charges may deepen an already overwhelming loan crisis. The fact that the fee will affect all New Jersey college students, both public and private, is a definite cause for concern. As of today, New Jersey is the only state that mandates its health insurance for higher education institutions. Many analysts predict that New Jersey college students will try to remain uninsured.
There is disagreement amongst the general consensus about the need for good health practices versus the status of the current state of the economy. However, we feel that keeping students in school should be the top priority for the legislature. As a University, we should take every effort in order to dignify our student body and address its needs. Those needs just happen to include affordable healthcare.
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