4A - Monday, November 14, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
4A - Monday, November14, 2011 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
STEPHANIE STEINBERG and EMILY ORLEY NICK SPAR
EDITOR IN CHIEF EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS MANAGING EDITOR
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
Imran Syed is the public editor. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Always speak up
Moral responsibility should come before football
tragic scandal was exposed at Pennsylvania State Univer-
sity last week. Jerry Sandusky, former assistant football
coach for the Nittany Lions, was accused of sexually abus-
ing young boys, which allegedly occurred on Penn State's campus.
His alleged crimes are by far the most shocking aspect of the situa-
tion, but the silence of many high-ranking coaches and administra-
tors who knew about the abuse is unacceptable.
Pretty much, the defense bailed me out:'
- University head football coach Brady Hake said about Saturday's game
against Illinois, as reported by The Michigan Daily Saturday.
Our two health care markets
As humans, we have a moral responsibil-
ity to protect children and report suspected or
confirmed crimes, regardless of if the action
personally affects us. In light of the horrific
event, universities across the country - includ-
ing the University of Michigan - must ensure
they are fostering an environment in which
good morals come before all other priorities.
Graduate student assistant Mike
McQueary witnessed Sandusky raping a
10-year-old boy and reported what he saw
to the university's head football coach Joe
Paterno. Paterno was fired - effective imme-
diately - by the university's Board of Trust-
ees last Wednesday and McQueary was
placed on an indefinite administrative leave.
Penn State University President Graham B.
Spanier - one of the longest serving presi-
dents in the country - was also fired by the
As the leader of Penn State's football pro-
gram and prominent figure at the university
for 46 years, Paterno had an obligation to
report these crimes and ensure an investiga-
tion topk place. He failed to do so. McQueary
had a duty to react immediately to the crime
he witnessed by helping the child and involv-
ing the police. He also failed to do so. While
it has been claimed that both individuals did
what was minimally required of them in the
eyes of the law - the incident was reported
by both to their boss - in situations of abuse
against innocent children, the legal minimum
is simply not enough. Sandusky's victims and
any victims of child abuse deserve better.
College athletics have come to a peculiar
status at universities. As sports bring in more
money and fans become more invested in the
success of their schools, a strange culture
begins to form. There are all kinds of legal
violations that have been found to be taking
place in college sports, and there is an incli-
nation to address them internally for the sake
of the university and its brand. The negative
reaction to Paterno's firing is a testament to
the impervious nature of this culture and
how much people will ignore for the great-
ness of their school.
Every university, government body and
business needs to foster an environment in
which people feel safe - safe among their
co-workers, safe in the workplace and safe
to come forward with information, regard-
less of what it involves. College football
programs cannot be exempt from the rules.
Despite the vast amount of money football
brings in at many large universities and the
power successful coaches hold, the programs
and people within them must be held to the
same standards as any other department on
The horrible situation at Penn State
remained a secret for nearly a decade
because of the program's power and the fear
that disclosing the information could harm
that status. But from the moment children
were harmed, this issue was no longer about
football and was instead about basic human-
ity. We all have a responsibility to be people
first and fans second.
hhe health care reform bill
that was passed last year
means that Michigan,
like all states,
is required to
set up some-
thing called a ,
This past week,
the state Sen-
ate passed a NEILL
bill to begin
the process of MOHAIAD"
is a fancy way to describe a web-
site where people without health
insurance can shop for coverage. In
response, Scott Hagerstrom, head
of a statewide organization called
"Americans for Prosperity of Michi-
gan," likened the bill to a "declara-
tion of war on the Tea Party."
That's insane. The word "insane"
is a hallmark of lazy writing, but
sometimes simplicity is important.
"Insane" is the only word that
adequately describes Hagerstrom's
position. In order to understand
why, however, you have to also
understand something about how
health insurance works in the
There are two health care markets
in this country: One for everyone
who is offered a health insurance
policy by their employer and one for
everyone else. If you're fortunate
enough to have a job, and luckier
still to have a job that provides ben-
efits, then there are three separate
decisions that determine what sort
of care you will ultimately receive
when you need it. First, health insur-
ance companies negotiate with phy-
sicians and hospitals to determine
which providers will be in their
benefit network. Second, employers
negotiate with insurers and choose
one of them to provide coverage to
their employees. Third, individual
employees will sometimes have the
ability to choose between differ-
ent kinds and amounts of coverage,
albeit only from whatever insurance
company their employer has already
signed a contract with.
What's important to keep in mind
is that "choice" in the American sys-
tem is largely illusory even though
our system relies onthe private mar-
ket to a much larger degree than do
most other wealthy countries. The
market for insurance is dominated
in most states by only a few firms,
meaning they can act as a cartel and
impose prices for coverage that are
higher than they would otherwise
be. Employers can try to pick the
cheapest insurer from that limited
set of options, but that means chang-
ing which doctors their employees
are allowed to see.
As bad as all of that is, life in the
other group is even worse. If you're
self-employed, or work multiple
part-time jobs that don't provide
health benefits, then you're faced
with two dismal options. One is to
buy coverage "at retail" from insur-
ance companies. However, the
insurance companiesknow that peo-
ple who are unemployed or working
the sort of labor-intensive job that
doesn't come with benefits are likely
to be less healthy than other people,
meaning that coverage under these
circumstances is much more expen-
sive than it would otherwise be.
The other option is to pay out
of your own pocket for expenses
as they arise. What you may not
realize, however, is that everyone
- from your pharmacist to your
doctor to your hospital - actually
has two sets of prices that describe
everything they do. One figure is
what they bill to insurance com-
panies, with whom they've already
agreed on a set list of prices. The
other is the "list price" that they
charge to anyone without insur-
ance. This second price is much
higher - 10 times higher or more
- because most patients who are
charged the list price are too poor
to ever pay anyway. Hospitals gam-
ble that once in 100 times they'll
catch someone who doesn't have
coverage but does have a steady
paycheck, and by gouging those
patients they can make back some
of their expense in treating the
poorest of the poor. If you ever hap-
pen to meet this description, you
are extremely likely to go bankrupt.
Both options are
dominated by a
The exchanges are meant to
help this second group, if only very
slightly, by introducing competi-
tion that makes their health care
market less broken. I don't think it
will work, though the reasons why
are a separate column. If nothing
else, it is the sort of market-based,
pro-small business proposal that
the likes of Hagerstrom should find
thrilling. It's also a reform that is
needed more in our state than any-
where else. With such high unem-
ployment, Michiganders are more
likely than most Americans to find
themselves in the broken market I
So where did Hagerstrom find a
"declaration of war" in all of this?
Not in the proposal itself, so it must
be in the name of the president who
helped design it. There's a word for
that sort of reaction: insane.
-Neill Mohammad can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@MICHIGANDAILY.COM
Like Penn State, we need a
community of caring'
TO THE DAILY:
Dear University Community:
At some point in our adult lives, most of
us learn how to respond to anger with love,
to violence with peace and to ignorance with
As you may know, Pennsylvania State Uni-
versity is dealing with very painful issues
regarding alleged child sexual abuse.
Many ofus, some ofus with histories of trau-
ma and abuse, are reacting to what appears to
be endless reports of graphic violence to chil-
dren. Media reports and stories and headlines
are not simply information. They can become
triggers and reminders for us - personally and
for people we know.
The students at Penn State declared last
Saturday's game against Nebraska to be the
first official "Blue Out" (as distinct from the
usual "White Out") in support of child abuse
awareness. (Blue ribbons are a symbol of child
abuse prevention). This student response and
'U' mandated Relationship
iemix program is a joke
decision was wonderful to see and can become
a needed antidote, as well as one step toward
healing. We should be inspired by numerous
Penn State faculty, staff and students who are
respondingpositively to this.
I urge all of us to do our own "community
of caring" - take time to talk with others, edu-
cate ourselves, reflect on the meaning of all
these events, check in with each other and sup-
port each other. For those who have suffered
from childhood sexual abuse, please know that
reaching out to others and seeking professional
Through these actions, we can together
respond with action, with knowledge, with
peace and with voice.
Please remember to utilize our U-M
" CAPS http://www.umich.edu/-caps/
" SAPAC http://sapac.umich.edu/
For more information on men and childhood
sexual abuse: http://iin6.org/
Todd D. Sevig
Director of Counseling ft Psychological Services,
chair of U-M Student Mental Health Work
of encouraging students to cultivate strong,
healthy relationships without the need for
sex, it condones sexuality as an essential facet
of a relationship. When I walked into the pro-
gram, I was greeted by a table piled high with
flavored condoms, female condoms, oral-sex
protection and a wooden penis. Honestly?
As long as our culture continues to condone
sexual freedom, sexual assaults will remain
a permanent fixture of society. Until men and
women begin to respect each other's sexu-
ality and recognize sex as a great gift that
should be protected and honored, money will
continue to be wasted on programs like Rela-
tionship Remix and freshmen like myself
will be left to question the moral compass of
the University we have chosen to attend.
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Aida Ali, Michelle DeWitt, Ashley Griesshammer, Nirbhay Jain, Patrick Maillet,
Erika Mayer, Harsha Nahata, Emily Orley, Teddy Papes, Timothy Rabb,
Vanessa Rychlinski, Caroline Syms, Seth Soderborg, Andrew Weiner
A requiem for hu-man dignity
Don't feel sorry for Joe Paterno.
Don't feel sorry for a man who is a legend in his sport.
He has the all-time record for wins for a Division-I coach,
which was set in the last game he coached. He can "take
his leave" now with a record, given the state of Division-I
football's coaching carousel that probably will never be
broken. How's that for timing?
Don't feel bad for Graham Spanier. The former Penn
State University president participated in a cover-up of
one of the most egregious scandals possible and the sex-
ual assault of multiple young boys. All because he wanted
to maintain his status within JoePa's Grand Experiment
- that a school can be a football power and still maintain
high academic and moral standards that have been flail-
ing at such flagship schools as the University of Southern
California, Auburn University, the University of Tennes-
see and that school down South.
Feel bad for the Board of Trustees at Penn State. This
board did one of the bravest things possible and did not
let a disgraced coach control his fate due to his name -
unlike how the Ohio State University President E. Gor-
don Gee joked about The Vest during TattooGate. This
board took astep in the right direction and thought about
the future of the university first, the football program
second. In fact, this board followed JoePa's tenets bet-
ter than JoePa did. This board showed its commitment
to Penn State as a university, something of which Penn
State should be proud.
Feel bad for the players at Penn State. They came to
that university on the promise of gaining quality educa-
tions in both football and in life, learning from one of the
most enduring men of our time. Now, all that they were
promised was revealed to be false. They were learning
morals from a man who did what he was bound to do by
the law, but not what he was bound to do by the morals
that he claimed to profess. For many of the seniors on
the team, a higher percentage at Penn State than other
schools, last Saturday was their final home game. They
were supposed to bask in the glow of having a powerful
sendoff by their friends, family and fans. Now they had
to play under the shadow of Paterno's dark secrets. They
went onto the field knowing that it is the first time in
more than 50 years that JoePa would not be coaching at
Penn State. They are amongthose who will suffer.
Feel sorry forthe Penn State community. They are the
ones who will be picking up the pieces of this scandal. *
They are the ones who, day in and day out, will have to
deal with the aftermath of Penn State losing a multitude
of its leading voices and proponents. They are the ones
who will have to deal with recreating Penn State as a
wonderful place to be. They are the ones who will have
to deal with making Happy Valley a truly happy commu-
nity. They are the ones who have their work cut out for *
them in the years to come.
Feel the most sorry for those poor boys who suffered
sexual abuse at the hands of a trusted adult, coach and
friend. Sexual abuse is not an insignificant topic. The
deep running emotional scars are beyond the com-
prehension of any who have not suffered this kind of
abuse. The abuse goes beyond the mental problems
associated with rape. Sexual abuse like that which
occurred with these boys involves betrayal at a deeper
level - a betrayal that could greatly impair their ability
to trust anybody in the future, out of fear thatthey may
be betrayed as such again. Sexual abuse victims have
to live with the pain and relive the horrors every night
- knowing that the adults that they counted on to pro-
tect them cared more for themselves than the fate of an
innocent child. Betrayal such as this will hinder these
boys' ability to live.
Lastly, feel sorry for yourself.
Be sorry that you live in a world where even the most
wholesome of institutions have problems such as sexual *
assault and rape waiting in the wings.
Be sorry that scandals such as this force you to ques-
tion the integrity of the institutions that you know, love
and even attend.
Be sorry that you live in a world where people only
care about a series of sexual abuses because it involves a
football coach - not because there were sexual abuses at
a university. And that is the greatest shame of all.
God, what a world we live in.
Nirbhay Jain is anS LSA freshman.
TO THE DAILY:
Last Wednesday, I spent two painfully long
hours listening to presenters from Sexual
Assault Prevention and Awareness Center
speak about the importance of consent before
a sexual encounter, knowing one's personal
values and identifying dangerous sexual situa-
Oons. This new program, deemed Relationship
kemix by the University, is now required for all
freshmen to attend as mandated by University
President Mary Sue Coleman.
Although I recognize how prevalent sexu-
al assaults and other non-consensual sexual
encounters are on this campus, the Remix
program is inherently flawed in that instead