Health care reform and students


Joy Marie Hallare / The Collegian
Several provisions will affect the options of college-aged students

With President Barack Obama’s signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, many college students are eligible to be the beneficiaries of some new provisions.

Some of the initiatives won’t take effect for several more years, but some immediate impacts are going to be felt.

John Capitman, executive director of the Central Valley Health Policy Institute, described some of the new provisions that will benefit Americans around the country.

“The health reform offers some great new pieces for young adults,” Capitman said. “Number one, for those whose parents have insurance, starting in August, these young adults can be covered on their plan until age 26.”

Capitman also said that many college-aged Americans would be able to have insurance in case of an emergency.

“Also, young adults up to age 30 will have access to subsidies to purchase a basic, catastrophic health insurance plan at reasonable rates.”

Capitman said that some of the important initiatives would not start for some time. For example, in 2014, those with incomes at 133 percent of the poverty line will be eligible for Medicaid. Also, children cannot be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

Also effective September 23, 2010 will be a provision that prohibits dropping policyholders from their plans when they get sick. Another provision that will go into effect on September 23, 2010 will be a 10-percent service tax on indoor tanning services.

Navdeep Samra, 19, a sophomore at Fresno State, has health coverage through her father. She said she was not too familiar with all the new initiatives, but was happy to see more Americans receiving health care.

“Everybody needs health insurance,” Samra said. “The more people that are covered the better.”

Samra said she was also concerned with the greater good of the people.

“Yes,” Samra said. “I am for more health care as long as they don’t raise the taxes that much. Whatever is best for society. That’s what you want, right?”

Samra said that so far she is fine with the Obama Administration’s progressive movements.

“Right now, I’m fine with everything he’s doing,” Samra said. “But it’s true that you don’t want the government to be too big.”

Fresno State student Jason Panganiban, 22, said he is glad that Americans are finally going to get health care from the government.

“It’s good that it passed even though we are going to have to pay a gargantuan tax increase, because this bill passed through,” Panganiban said. “But it’s all for the greater good of the country, and that’s what matters most.”

Panganiban said that it is a must that young adults receive greater health insurance coverage in a time when many are struggling to find careers that offer benefits.

“It’s a step in a better direction for college students who are having trouble finding real jobs that have benefits,” Panganiban said. “It’s great that we can get coverage through our parents’ plan later in life.”

Panganiban was quick to point out that not all of these provisions are going to benefit everybody.

“The rich people in society may not like it, because they will have to be paying more taxes to help the lower class get health care,” Panganiban said. “What really matters is that it’s for the greater good. Some people are going to dislike it and some people are going to love it. We shouldn’t be that selfish and everybody needs help.”

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