There will be a demonstration on Tuesday June 14th to help support Graduate Assistants United’s (GAU) fight for better health care. The current plan does not cover preexisting conditions for the first year, which means that an incoming student with a preexisting health condition must spend their first year at the university paying any expenses for that condition out-of-pocket. The plan also includes a $1000 annual maximum out-of-pocket, more than the average monthly salary for GAs. The plan does not include coverage for dependents, pre-natal, or pediatric care; nor does it include dental or vision coverage. This is a “health care” plan that largely leaves the GAs referred out because the Student Health Center is not equipped to handle their medical issues and priced out because of the cost of out-of-pocket costs of prescriptions, vision, dental, and health care that is beyond the basic check-up. This is a Do-It-Yourself health care plan and GAU strongly believes that this should change in several ways. Some of the proposals still on the bargaining table:
- Remove the year wait on preexisting conditions
- Reduce the maximum-out-of-pocket
- Begin phasing in multi-tiered plans so that GAs (and other students) have access to options in quality health care (such as vision, dental, coverage for partners/dependents)
This coming Tuesday, we want to show our support for the GAU at the bargaining table. To that end, we will gather at noon and picket outside of Anthony Hall until approximately 1:30. To call attention to the specific issue of health care (and also to insert a dose of humor into a serious matter), we’re encouraging people to don surgical scrubs and/or bring any medical paraphernalia you have on hand (stethoscopes, surgical masks, etc). The SIUC health care plan is not regulated by the new federal government Affordable Health Care Act and is not regulated by insurance laws in the State of Illinois. If changes are to be made only public pressure will get the SIUC administration to change the benefits– exercise your free speech rights and turn out for this event.