Excuse me, may we opt out of Obamacare?

It seems that every day we learn about more and more of Obamacare’s “unintended” consequences brought to light now that, paraphrasing Nancy Pelosi, we have passed the bill and can see what’s in it.  This time, the outcry is coming from colleges and universities.

The recent uproar has to do with student health plans that are offered at most colleges.  These are group plans tailored by the schools to cover those attending the school.  By and large they are very inexpensive because they cover primarily young, healthy individuals, and because the primary vehicle to provide medical care is the campus health clinic staffed by employees of the university.  Should more critical care be necessary, it is generally provided at the university’s medical school’s (if they have a medical school) teaching hospital.

Along comes Obamacare and all of these student health plans suddenly are in danger of becoming extinct.  It is highly unlikely that these plans will meet the new “minimum essential coverage” requirements of Obamacare.  That’s the part where the Secretary of Health and Human Services gets to decide what must be in your health care plan in order for it to be deemed a “qualified” plan.

Should she decide that to be qualified a plan must include, for example, in vitro fertilization, or, hair transplants, or, tattoo removal, the plans will become ridiculously expensive.  And, what about the edict that insurers must take all who apply.  Must the university continue to cover students who have graduated?  That, too, will drive up the cost.

It doesn’t help that the regulations governing student health plans are as carelessly written as the rest of the bill, and the uncertainty is holding up insurance contracts and plan design for the coming academic year.  Not surprisingly, the colleges are asking federal regulators for a blanket ObamaCare waiver.

Too bad we can’t do the same.

Posted in


The Sound Off Sister was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and special trial attorney for the Department of Justice, Criminal Division; a partner in the Florida law firm of Shutts & Bowen, and an adjunct professor at the University of Miami, School of Law. The Sound Off Sister offers frequent commentary concerning legislation making its way through Congress, including the health reform legislation passed in early 2010.


  1. gillie28 on August 28, 2010 at 10:28 am

    The more I hear of this health-care boondoggle, the more ill-conceived and poorly thought out it appears.  There is no doubt the US needs health-care reform, but it should have been done in stages by competent experts (so that automatically excludes just about every politician in Washington, of any persuasion).  And, more importantly, it is outrageous that so much debt will be incurred at the time in our history when we least can afford it.  Of course, since China will soon own us (if it doesn't already) maybe we can claim under their health-care system instead.  Their dental care, particularly, seems extremely attractive (rotfl).

  2. gillie28 on August 28, 2010 at 10:33 am

    p.s. Andrew Jackson was the only president to reduce the federal debt to the p.oint where the US was practically debt-free.  It had a lot to do with Nancy Pelosi not being in charge  – she was just a junior in Congres  back then, I believe

  3. sammy22 on August 28, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    What happens if the college has no medical school??

  4. sammy22 on August 28, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    PS-Mind telling us where you get your medical/dental coverage from?

  5. SoundOffSister on August 28, 2010 at 1:10 pm


    If the college or university doesn't have a medical school, then the institution uses a local hospital that has agreed to be part of the plan.  As to dental coverage, gee, I wish I could afford it.  I do what used to be the norm in this country…I pay for dental care myself.  I don't expect someone else to pay for it.

  6. TomL on August 28, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Atta Girl SOS

  7. Dimsdale on August 28, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Legislate in haste, regret at leisure.


    When I recall that the pharmaceutical companies were holding a fundraiser for Martha Coakley in Washington D.C.  (a guaranteed "yes" vote for Øbamacare) rather than Scott Brown, it became clear to me that the health care industry (or parts of it) were in no fear of losing money, but rather, making more.

  8. johnboy111 on August 28, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    [God ]please just leave me alone?????

  9. Tim-in-Alabama on August 28, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    There is a standard procedure for opting out of Obamacare … dying.

  10. sammy22 on August 29, 2010 at 4:34 am

    I thought Obamacare plans to cover "children" up to age 26 regardless of student status. Did I hear wrong? As to dental (and medical) care, SOS is not alone in paying for it.

  11. Dimsdale on August 29, 2010 at 7:27 am

    Either way, the parents have to pay for it.  Just now they have to cover them to the new age of minority: 26.


    Of course, to keep health care costs down, we could raise the drinking age to 26….

  12. sammy22 on August 29, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Seems like we have gone over this before. Somebody ought to be responsible: the "children" or the parents. The parents don't HAVE to pay for it.

  13. Dimsdale on August 29, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Apparently, now they do.  How long before some enterprising barrister represents a pre-26 year old client that is suing his/her parents for health coverage?

  14. PatRiot on August 30, 2010 at 6:47 am

    This is the stuff that happens when you take a car that only needed a tune up and 2 tires and scrap it for a yet to be built cadillac with failed blueprints from a socialist car company.

  15. TomL on August 31, 2010 at 2:07 am

    I just found out my health care is going to increase by 11%


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