I am very disappointed that Portland State requires students who take over nine credits to pay a mandatory insurance fee.

Student health fees

I am very disappointed that Portland State requires students who take over nine credits to pay a mandatory insurance fee. The service works great when used at the student health center, but for any outside services, such as emergency room visits, the service lacks any benefit. I guess it was my decision to opt out of health insurance through my husband’s company, but I made the assumption that if health insurance fees were required through Portland State, the product would be more than substandard. My assumption is costing me over $1,400. If I had been covered under my husband’s insurance, my out-of-pocket expense would have been only a $50 co-pay.

Portland State is a commuter school. Most of the students live off campus and a large amount of the student population has outside means of insurance. Why should we be forced to pay twice for insurance? What if you cannot afford to pay double health insurance premiums? This is the boat I am in. I chose substandard insurance because it was mandatory. My husband and I can’t afford both insurance fees. Portland State needs to allow students to opt out of health insurance fees, especially if we can find cheaper and better coverage elsewhere. Dictating that we must pay for on-campus health care is just as wrong as forcing us to use the Higher One card. It is our money and we should be able to use it on services that fit our needs.

Sarah Phillippi-Gordon

Careless ASPSU

[In response to “Over $1,500 of electronics stolen from ASPSU,” Aug. 22] Let me get this straight. The electronics were out of the box but near enough so they could both be easily stolen. This sounds like it stems from a deeply rooted problem in the way ASPSU operates. Security, one would think, should be a priority when there are expensive electronics loose and apparently easily accessible in unlocked cabinets.

Before they obtain replacements, perhaps we should be asking questions about whether or not student groups should own high-value devices such as these if they don’t propose a method of inventory or of securing such assets once received. This is a good example of the carelessness of our student government and how much they value the items purchased with student fees.

J. Anderson

They don’t care

[Quoting “Privatize This,” Aug. 8] “It is the business of government to look out for our best interest and to collectively care for the public’s basic rights and needs.” This is a warm and fuzzy thought, but in the real world politicians often have the same motives as their counterparts in the private sector. Politicians are assumed to be altruistic servants of the people, but in reality they care about themselves and their own families more than they care about you and yours. It’s just human nature.

The school of economics devoted to studying this phenomenon is known as public choice economics. Google it to read a concise explanation.

Steve Buckstein

Corporations vs. Government���: fight!

When the government and industry work in lock step, we call that fascism. (Look it up; this is a hallmark of fascist governments.) This can happen through the privatization or otherwise serving of corporate interests by the government or by a national industrial policy similar to that of supposedly Socialist or Democratic socialist governments such as the former USSR, France, Norway or myriad other countries that have nationalized industry. The best relationship possible between corporations and the government is one of antagonism. This keeps both of their powers limited, which means more freedom for the individual.