[Parentsgroup-list] states' reaction to health insurance crisis--NYT article

Christine Dianne Wenc wenc at fas.harvard.edu
Sat May 7 00:00:57 EDT 2005

Hi again--As I'm sure you're aware, Harvard grad student parents aren't
the only ones struggling with the cost of health insurance.  This is a national
issue with a long history.  Recently, states have been playing with the
idea of making it mandatory for employers to provide health insurance for
their employees, in part to reduce the burden placed on state budgets by
people who are obliged to go on Medicaid or other programs because their
employers do not provide them with adequate coverage.  (The U.S. now has
45 million people without insurance, and another 40-50 million more with
inadequate insurance--and both numbers are rising.)

Massachusetts is also considering legislation which would require that all
workers be covered.  I think it would be particularly interesting, and
depressing, if grad students ended up being the only population in
the state (or in the country?) which had to pay for their health insurance
out-of-pocket.  We occupy a weird place between student and
worker, and it doesn't fit into either model very well.

But I think grad students must be considered employees of universities in
some form.  Unionizing may not be the answer, but something must be.  And the health
insurance crisis may be a big part of what propels this change.

here's the article:

There's also been a great series by Paul Krugman on the op-ed page on the
American health care system too--the latest installment is at


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