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Liberal grad student vents at Daily Kos over Obamacare’s unintended consequences

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Michael Convente has had a taste of reality, and it is bitter. Convente, a liberal blogger and graduate student representative on the Student Health Insurance Advisory Committee (SHIAC) at the University of Pennsylvania, has learned that the Affordable Care Act is, as he wrote at uber-liberal Daily Kos, a "law of unintended consequences."

As noted by Campus Reform, Convente and his peers are discovering the hard way that footing the bill for someone else’s health care can be burdensome, especially when you yourself are young and poor:

Our population is entirely students. Mostly grad students, but that means the overwhelming majority of us are mid-to-late 20s. We now have to cover pediatric dental even though none of us are [sic] even eligible to use that benefit. There aren't even that many grad students with young children (we see about ~100 dependent plans out of over 9,000 total enrollees).

Our committee is quite progressive when it comes to benefits offered (full prosthesis replacement, gender reassignment surgery, etc.) and low deductible (we're at $300. That's not a typo - three hundred). And yet even for us, at least in the college health insurance market, the ACA has truly been the ‘law of unintended consequences’.

Health insurance is nuanced like crazy, and sadly most people don't have the time and/or capacity to really understand the gritty details. Relying on marketing slogans, some of which turned out not to be so correct, is turning out to be problematic.

I should write a diary about how the ACA is affected [sic] college health insurance market. We're a unique situation since the overwhelming majority of our population is young and healthy. Now that students can buy individual plans (or stay on their parents' insurance), we're likely going to be looking at serious adverse selection since our benefits are so great, so only students with known health issues will purchase our plan.

So has Convente learned his lesson? You’d hope so, but he told Campus Reform via email that he still supports the law, writing that “the issues that I mentioned in my comment are a slight annoyance, [sic] however our committee has full confidence that we will solve them without any problems.”

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