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The answer to health care reform is here

Start with expanding campus coverage and then move on to the United States.

By: Whalesong Editorial

While the health care debate has raged on throughout July and August, what you may not have noticed is that you’re right at the heart of it. College-age adults make up 29 percent of America’s uninsured.

And while Congress has debated everything from a public-plan, mandatory health insurance for all adults and taxing the rich and the employer, what they haven’t talk about is building national health care from the ground up by working at a local level to improve services offered.

One of those local services is the University of Alaska Southeast’s Health Services. Open from 9a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday throughout the academic year, Health Services offers almost everything a doctor’s office can to any full-time student.

And as the Student Resource Center can testify, Health Services is in great demand here on campus.

“It was really really hectic when students would come up and say ‘I need to see the doctor. I’m sick right now.’ And then me look at her schedule and be like, ‘okay, well she doesn’t have any open appointments until two weeks from now,’” Jessica Chauvot, a student worker at the SRC, said.

Part of the problem, according to Chauvot, is that Dr. Maureen Longworth only took hour-long appointments regardless of what the student’s health issue was.  Chauvot hopes that new nurse practitioner, Justine Emerson, will help that when she takes over the post Aug. 31.

“It’ll probably be a little full to start with. She’ll have to get used to it and everything. They’ll probably be hour blocks to start with but I’m hoping in time it’ll be modified to what the student needs, to how long the appointment is,” said Chauvot.

But there’s more UAS can do for its students than get a new nurse and change schedule times.

What if, instead of universal coverage for all Americans, we started with universal coverage for college students.

Allowing coverage of part-time students and families on married and non-traditional students is something that we can fix here, without resorting to government measures.

And if the government really wants to help, they can do it through a HEALTH grant for students who want to become doctors working with low income families much as the TEACH grant does for teachers.

While the reforms working their way through Congress could solve the problem of uninsured  college students, they could also do alot to hurt us in their present form.

Here at UAS and here in Juneau, we know what health care problems we face and we’re the ones who will find the best solutions to it, not a Congressman three thousand miles away.


Content maintained by Whalesong staff.