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Republican Scott Brown’s Policies Harmful for Clark University Students

Clark University students, whether or not you’re originally from Massachusetts, you
should be deeply concerned about the policies promoted by Republican Scott Brown, especially in the area of health care. Republican Scott Brown’s signature policy position on health care is working to repeal ObamaCare, and that will have a directly negative impact on you.

Prior to the passage of ObamaCare, young adults in Massachusetts could only stay on their parents’ health insurance plan for up to two years after losing tax-dependency. This means that those students graduating from college, going out on their own, and starting jobs at the age of 21 could only stay on their parents’ health insurance plans until the age of 23. After that, you’re on your own for coverage. If you don’t get health insurance through your employer and you don’t qualify for subsidies for low-income adults in Massachusetts, the average premium for you in Massachusetts would cost $437 per month (or over $5,200 per year).

Because of ObamaCare, which Republican Scott Brown wants to repeal, your parents can keep you on their family plan until you turn 26 years old, regardless of when you lose tax-dependency. Over 20,000 young adults in Massachusetts have already gained insurance coverage as a result of the new health care law. Nationwide, this provision has increased insurance coverage to 3.1 million young adults, including Republican Scott Brown’s own daughter! (It is noteworthy that Republican Scott Brown takes advantage of a policy for his own family that he wants to eliminate for you and your family.)

That’s not the only benefit Clark University students should be aware of. Starting in August 2012, all new private insurance plans must cover key preventive services with no co-pays or additional costs. This includes contraception and contraceptive counseling, including the Pill, Nuvaring, diaphragms, and IUDs. According to the Center for American Progress, prior to ObamaCare, a woman with insurance would pay $35 to $250 in out-of-pocket costs for the doctor’s visit, plus $15 to $80 per month ($180 to $960 per year) for the Pill. This means that, thanks to ObamaCare, she will save anywhere from $200 to over $1000 a year on her contraception alone. If Republican Scott Brown gets his way and ObamaCare is repealed, you lose these cost-free benefits.

Health care isn’t the only area in which the policies of Republican Scott Brown have been directly harmful to college students. On May 8 of this year, Republican Scott Brown voted against the Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act of 2012. On that day, Brown voted to double your student loan interest rate from 3.4% to 6.8%. Fortunately, after this vote took place, leadership in the U.S. Senate achieved a compromise to keep the student loan interest rate at 3.4%, but that doesn’t change Republican Scott Brown’s record of voting to double your student loan interest rate.

Policy decisions made in Washington D.C. have a real and direct impact on us. The policies that Republican Scott Brown is advocating would have a decidedly harmful impact of Clark University students.

 
MATHEW HELMAN
ProgressMass, ProgressMass.org

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Letters to the Editor