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Student Senate rejects “opt-in” health care

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Ohio University Student Senate voted to pass a resolution that confirms an official stance on a bill proposed by Ohio House Rep. Michael Henne that would change the university health care registration process.

Ohio House Bill 348 would require that all public universities in the state of Ohio to change their health care plan from the “opt-out” option to an “opt-in” option.

Jordan Ballinger, Commissioner of Government Affairs, drafted the senate resolution, along with four other sponsors, including Matthew Gusler, Senator for OU-HCOM, in order for the Student Senate to have an official public stance.

“The current bill would end up leaving out students, such as international students and students with disabilities,” the resolution says, “therefore be it resolved the Ohio University Student Senate does not support Ohio House Bill 348.”

The resolution says that Student Senate feels that the resolution would leave out international students and students with disabilities because instead of being already included in the university health care plan, they would have to know that they need to opt-in to receive the university health care.

“The overall consensus we got was that the majority of you were opposed to the bill,” Ballinger said.

“I think [the bill] is ill timed because we don’t know how the face of insurance is changing in light of the Affordable Care Act and so we don’t want to put state law regulating things that we don’t really know the impact of,” Gusler said.

The bill was met with light resistance but was eventually passed.

Another topic on the Student Senate’s agenda was an idea proposed by former senator and current student trustee Keith Wilbur about changes he wants to make to the Student Trustee Search Committee. As it stands now, Vice President of Student Senate Anna Morton is the chair for the committee but Wilbur is urging that the chair position be handed over to the senior student trustee.

The committee is set in place to choose the pool of students to be potential student trustees, later decided upon by the state. Wilbur wants the senior student trustee to hold the chair because they are the most knowledgeable in the subject and therefore would be able to choose the best candidates.

“I would like the senior student trustee to chair the committee… I think it is important overall because the senior student trustee is the one person who has been in that position for two years,” Wilbur said. “I think that their leadership on the committee is really important for moving the process forward.”

Wilbur was also gathering ideas on how to better promote the position so there would be more people to apply to be in the student trustee pool. The senate offered ideas, like a workshop to educate students on what the position entails. Wilbur only gathered ideas and no official decisions were made.

 

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