Health care law dissected by college papers
Kevin Robillard of University of Maryland's The Diamondback discusses the two-fold impact on students: "The results for college students would be immediate. Starting July 1, instead of 1,200 organizations offering federally backed student loans, there would only be one: the Department of Education. And students, who have long struggled to obtain health insurance after graduation, would now be eligible to remain on their parents' policies until age 25."
The editorial board at the University of Minnesota's The Minnesota Daily writes "After 'reconciliation,' 'granny's plug' and 'sweetheart deals,' one can't help but see health care reform through the fatty, yellowed lens of a sausage casing. It has been said laws are like sausages: It is better not to see them being made. ... Political meat grinders on the right have seldom been so shrill, invoking vague, tired charges of socialism or totalitarianism while the left was eager to put a 'historic triumph' spin on reform. The truth was somewhere near the meatless middle, with no public option and no removal of barriers preventing interstate insurance competition."
The staff at the Daily Athenaeum at West Virginia University praises the bill writing, "America needed this. And though it may turn out to be short-term political suicide for many congressional Democrats, it will provide long term benefits to the American people."
An opinion writer, Laila Sholtz-Ames, at the University of Maine's The Maine Campus tackles the opponents: "I have heard arguments that this new plan would make the upper and middle class pay for the poor and illegal immigrants, yet the truth is we already pay for them. Through state and federal funding to programs like Medicare and Medicaid, our tax dollars are paying for the health care of the uninsured. As for the claim that universal health care would result in longer lines in emergency rooms, Americans already are waiting an average of three hours and 42 minutes, according to a recent MSNBC report by Tom Costello. The problem is not that the United States can't afford a health care reform bill - it's that we can't afford not to have a reform. Premiums are already through the roof, and too many Americans are without proper health care coverage.
Michael Lamber, of the University of South Carolina's The Daily Gamecock was not as zealous: "This, to me, is health care reform's ultimate failure: Democrats spent their time pandering to congressmen who didn't really matter in the greater scheme of things. All this time spent reconciling Democratic ambitions with Republican doubts could have been used bolstering trust among those who actually have to put the plan in motion."
And the Loyola University Chicago newspaper The Phoenix--voted best college weekly in the nation last year by the Society of Professional Journalists--comes out strongly in favor of Obamacare: "As students, we are struggling to find financial support for our studies and health insurance as well as struggling to find a job. ... The healthcare bills currently working their way through Congress are going to have huge implications for students because many of us are growing out of or are no longer under our parents' health coverage, and there are health issues that especially affect students: We drink too much sometimes. Binge drinking peaks between ages 18 and 22, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Serivces. And given our propensity to binge drink and eat McDonalds, we are also susceptible to a whole host of problems like obesity and diabetes. Twenty-four percent of adults age 18-29 in the U.S. are obese, according to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control in 2006."
Alysse Dalessandro, president of the Society of Professional Journalists chapter at Loyola University Chicago, compiled these reactions from college newspapers.