by Steve Eastman, Wait Til You Hear This

Cornell University

sach1b, flickr.com, CC BY-SA 2.0

It’s bad enough that Americans are fined if they refuse to buy insurance meeting the Obamacare guidelines.  Now a major university is getting into the act.

David Skorton, the president of Cornell University, has sent an email to students announcing a $350 fee for students who opt out of the school’s health care plan.

Skorton writes, “Although introducing a new fee is never desirable, moving to a model that includes a health fee — a standard in college health nationwide — will make student costs more predictable and encourage students to seek the care they need.”  It goes into effect this upcoming academic year.

Skorton expects 70 percent of undergrads, 10 percent of grad students and 30 percent of professional students will be effected, netting the University an estimated $3.9 million.  It turns out Gannett Health Services, which services the needs of students, has been operating at a deficit.

Unlike Obamacare, students who get “fined” will be eligible for a $10 co-pay covering most Gannett visits.

News of the fee resulted in a sit-in Monday, but the president had already made up his mind. He told protestors that nothing can be done about the fee.

It’s not a bad deal for the university, which charges students $2,352 to opt in this year.  If they opt out, the school will soon charge $350.  It makes you wonder if that kind of model would work for a college cafeteria — charging a higher fee for students who eat in the dining hall and a lower fee for students who eat off campus.

2015 Wait Til You Hear This

Credit for photo on homepage:  Twitter user @eddyamedina


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“I was news director of a radio station for almost 10 years, trained by a future anchor of National Public Radio. During that time I won 16 awards from Associated Press and the Radio/TV News Directors Association. I’ve also hosted talk radio and cable television programs and worked as assignment editor for a network TV affiliate. I want to tell the stories we need to hear that are conveniently ignored by the mainstream media. I feel that the way you deliver a message can be almost as important as the content, because it reflects on its credibility. In our society too much effort goes into promoting consumerism and not enough into championing the really important things.” — Steve Eastman