We should expand Medicare

February 09, 2010

Medicare is a government-run healthcare system that works. People who have access to Medicare have a relatively positive experience with the services provided by the system. There is no reason that this program should not be extended to Americans who have lost a job, are in college or have just graduated and are looking for a job.

As a student with parents who work for the federal government, I lost healthcare coverage when I turned 22. In the state of Maryland, if you are a student you can still be covered by your parents health insurance until you turn 25. Because both of my parents work for the federal government, federal rules trump state law, so my parents' federal benefits are not extended to cover my health care needs.

Luckily, we have the financial means to purchase a student health insurance plan through the University of Maryland, but it is expensive and does not offer reliable, comprehensive care. I am constantly calling customer service and the online pharmacy regarding cost of services, only to find out that hidden fees are part of having a health care plan with a reasonable premium.

It is unfortunate that through my last year of school and continuing to graduate school I will have to worry about where my health coverage is coming from, forcing me to work full-time and go to school part-time instead of the the other way around.

I know there are many other students in my position, especially in the Washington D.C. area, with parents who work for the federal government and are no longer covered. People who are working hard or going to school but cannot find comprehensive care on their own should have a service made available to them that works, like Medicare.

Katherine Turner, College Park

The writer is an engineering student at the University of Maryland.

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