College is the coveted 4-years where eighteen to twenty-three-year-olds get a chance to figure how they want to contribute to society. The National Center for Education Statistics writes that in fall 2016, some 20.5 million students are expected to attend American colleges and universities, constituting an increase of about 5.2 million since fall 2000 (source). This means that millions of young adults are supposed to be learning how to live in the adult world. But as the workforce becomes more competitive, more and more college students realize that they are not being taught basic skills and information such as taxes and mortgages. So how does this affect politics?
College students are the people that have the power to change the political atmosphere as we know it. We’ve seen a huge increase in the number of college students involved in their local, state or national votes. As the media attention is heavily following the Democratic vs. Republican healthcare debate, I reached out to several students to see what they knew about our current healthcare politics.
In a survey of 10 people, I asked the following questions:
“What do you know about our healthcare system?”
“Do you have a certain political stance on healthcare?”
“Do you know the effects of the Democratic plan for health care versus the Republican plan”
The results were consistent: all participants knew little to nothing about the healthcare system, what was going on politically, and how this could affect them. Answers ranged from “I just know Obamacare is really hard to use.” “You opt out of healthcare at 25 right?”, and “I just know Trump wants more money and more taxes, “. One girl answered the questions sheepishly and I asked why. She replied that she knew that knowing these things were important, but it just all seemed so complicated she was going to worry about it later.
Why should health care and politics matter to college students? Because in four years or less we will be out in the working world not knowing how insurance works and wondering why the government has set it up this way. The true fault lies in our ignorance and laziness. We need to understand we have so much influence and we could change so much about our current political systems as it pertains to health care.