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December 05, 2012 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2012-12-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

4A - Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4A -Wedesda, Dcemer 5 202 Te Mihign Daly mihigadaiyco

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MS 48109
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.
State-run exchanges provide perfect competition
Michigan House subcommittee voted down a bill that would
create a state-run health insurance exchange on Nov. 29. With
a Dec.14 compliance deadline quickly approaching, Gov. Rick
Snyder will be forced to give up hopes of a bipartisan agreement on
a state-run exchange and instead allow partial federal control of the
state's health insurance exchange which is part of President Barack
Obama's healthcare reform, the Affordable Care Act. Though the
Michigan legislature - and the legislatures of other states - may not
agree with the Affordable Care Act, politics shouldn't come before
practicality as the state proceeds. The insurance exchange provides
citizens with detailed knowledge of health care offerings and fosters
an environment of competition between insurance providers.

I happen to think that the implications of
expanding the conference ... are significant
academic matters, and I was personally
very disappointed when I heard
it on the radio."
- Prof. Edie Goldenberg said about the expansion of the Big Ten Conference.
Goldenberg is a member of the Advisory Board on Intercollegiate Athletics,
which was not consulted about the changes to the conference.
The death ofsocial serendipity

The exchange will provide Michigan resi-
dents with an aggregated source of informa-
tion for comparing the offerings of insurance
companies, as well as giving residents the
means to shop for their health care plans
online in a single location. The stipulations
set by the healthcare law not only give states
the opportunity to propose their own insur-
ance exchange programs, but also establishes
a forum in which consumers can easily com-
pare all available insurance options. Though
Republicans have traditionally argued in
favor of state rights, their opposition to the
state-run health care exchange undermined
their own goals, forcing snyder to allow fed-
eral intervention. Furthermore, state Republi-
cans have also belied their alleged support of
"free market principles," since the insurance
exchanges create competitive marketplaces.
Granted, the state-run exchanges are inex-
tricably linked to the Affordable Care Act,
which Republicans oppose on the grounds that
it places government strictures on a private
healthcare enterprise. Howeverrecent reports
by the Department of Health and Human Ser-
vices show that more than a third of Americans
could be denied coverage based on pre-existing

conditions without the expansive action of the
ACA. Previous opposition to federal control of
health care asserted that government insur-
ance mandates could worsen adverse selection,
whereby young, low-risk individuals abstain
from buying insurance until they get sick, con-
sequently increasing costs for the entire insur-
ance pool. But the ACA's verdict to require all
eligible individuals to purchase an insurance
plan mitigates this problem by including all
Americans in the risk pool. It's a practical way
to allow private insurers to remain financially
productive without denying coverage to mil-
lions of Americans who need it.
Before the presidential election, state
Republicans justified their opposition to
insurance exchanges with statements such
as the claim from State Rep. Chuck Moss
(R-Birmingham) that the law was "iffy in the
courts and possibly going to be repudiated in
the next election." Going forward, the debate
regarding state implementation of insurance
exchanges should operate independently of
legislative opposition. The exchanges are the
most diplomatic way to afford fair and equal
coverage to Michigan residents and should
be unilaterally supported.

W hatever happened to
social serendipity?
I can't help but ask
myself this ques-
tion every time A
I stand outside
a lecture hall or
classroom wait-
ing for my class
to begin. Many
days, just out of
curiosity, I like MICHAEL
to take off my
headphones, put SPAETH
my phone in my
pocket and look
at the faces of the students around.
me to see if anyone would be recep-
tive to a conversation if I started
one. Nearly every time, the students
are reading textbooks, listening to
music or checking a screen. Or, even
when a few students aren't doing
any of those things, it only takes
less than a minute for cell phones to
suddenly materialize in their hands
once again.
Of course, it's completely under-
standable that we don't always
want to strike up conversations
with strangers. But it really is
remarkable how quickly we turn
to technology for companionship
when there's even the briefest lull
in our daily lives.
It makes me wonder what it must
have been like for college students
to wait for classes before cell phones
and the Internet were invented -
which wasn't all thatlong ago, bythe
way. Even if these students weren't
more willing to introduce them-
selves to their peers than we are now,
they had fewer excuses to remain
silent. Now, nobody sees anything
wrong with the fast clicking of keys
and the soft taps of fingers on touch
screens filling the hallways instead
of the sound of strangers striking up
a conversation.

So is modern technology killing
social serendipity?
Some would argue that technol-
ogy is actually increasing serendip-
ity, which is defined as "an aptitude
for making desirable discoveries
by accident." Our Facebook friends
frequently share random pho-
tos, videos, links and articles that
intrigue us or make us laugh. When
we browse news websites, we come
across interesting articles on the
sidebar that we didn't initially
intend to find. Perhaps most nota-
bly, there's StumbleUpon, which
takes users to random websites.
The problem is, although we
often find unexpected things on
the Internet, we find them on web-
sites that we regularly visit or from
people we already know. In short,
it's serendipity enclosed in a bubble
of familiarity. We discover a funny
YouTube clip ... from a best friend.
on Facebook. We find a breaking
news story ... on a website we visit
multiple times a day. Even Stumble-
Upon isn't completely random: "It
uses your stated preferences - and,
optionally, those of your friends."
The opportunities to have face-
to-face interactions with unfa-
miliar people and the unexpected
discoveries that result from those
interactions are what make life -so
interesting and exciting. They're
also some of the main reasons why
we spend so much money to go to
college in the first place.
Yes, the University offers a great
education, but Coursera and other
free massive online open courses
that are taught by professors from
some of the nation's best universi-
ties, including ours, may offer a
comparable education someday.
Some people are even question-
ing whether a college education
is necessary in the first place, cit-
ing the success stories of college

dropouts Mark Zuckerberg and
Steve Jobs. As The New York Times
recently observed, "The idea that a
college diploma is an all-but-man-
datory ticket to a successful career
is showing fissures."
leaves no room
for chance
But one of the most important
benefits of a college education is the
social connections we develop dur-
ing our time on campus. You might
decide to go to a professor's office
hours one day and that professor
becomes an influential mentor who
can also give you their colleagues's
contact information to help you
achieve your long-term goals. You
might meet a student in lecture who
is involved with a student organiza-
tionthatintriguesyou, andyoumight
decide to major inthatsubject area as
a result. You might meet a student in
the dining hall who happens to have
the same interests and eventually
becomes your husband or wife.
These are the personal rela-
tionships that are difficult to find
online. They happen when we put
the phones and laptops away, take
a chance on someone new and are
pleasantly surprised. College pres-
ents us with these chance encoun-
ters - this potential for social
serendipity - during our daily
routines. Now we just have to take
advantage of the opportunities.
-Michael Spaeth can be
reached at micspa@umich.edu.

Kaan Avdan, Sharik Bashir, Barry Belmont, Eli Cahan, Jesse Klein, Melanie
Kruvelis, Maura Levine, Patrick Maillet, Jasmine McNenny, Harsha Nahata,
Timothy Rabb, Adrienne Roberts, Vanessa Rychlinski, Paul Sherman,
Sarah Skaluba, Michael Spaeth, Gus Turner, Derek Wolfe
A 'conscience' that can kill

Seek out summer opportunities

On Oct. 28, a woman in Ireland died after
being denied life saving medical treatment.
Savita Halappanavar was 17 weeks pregnant
when she checked into University Hospital
Galway for back pain. The doctors determined
that she was miscarrying. As a result, her cer-
vix fully dilated and she leaked amniotic fluid
for three days, causing her excruciating pain
and leaving her vulnerable to infection. Halap-
panavar and her husband begged doctors to
remove the fetus in order to save her life, but
they refused, because abortions are illegal in
Ireland. Despite protesting that she was nei-
ther Irish nor Catholic, she was denied the
procedure. After three days, the fetal heart-
beat stopped, and the fetus was removed. A few
days later, Halappanavar died of septicemia, an
often fatal form of blood poisoning. An autop-
sy confirmed that the infection was detected
while she was still alive.
Constitutionally speaking, Halappana-
var had a right to this operation because the
pregnancy was life threatening. Or, in theory
she did. In reality, the stigma associated with
these procedures, even to save someone's life,
often prevents them from being aviable option.
Instead, women take drastic measures, includ-
ing travelling abroad to obtain treatment or
undergoing illegal operations at the risk of
infertility and death.
Giving a woman a life-saving procedure
despite one's personal beliefs has been done
before. In 2009, Sister Margaret McBride,
a nun on the board of an Arizona hospital,
allowed a woman to receive a life-saving abor-
tion procedure after learning that the woman
would die if she were denied it. McBride was
temporarily excommunicated from the Cath-
olic Church, but the hospital maintains that
saving the woman's life was the right thing to
do. Sadly, there was no advocate like McBride
for Halappanavar.
It's hard to understand how letting a woman
die protects the sanctity of life. Because Halap-
panavar miscarried, there was no way the fetus

could have survived. Even if she hadn't miscar-
ried, a 17-week old fetus couldn't have lived out-
side of the womb. Any trained physician would
know this. If the doctors knew these facts and
refused'to act, wouldn't they be culpable for her
death? If so, wouldn't it make sense that they
should atcthe very least be disbarred from prac-
ticing in order to prevent another death?
It's unsettling to hear of cases like this
because they demonstrate what can happen
if we allow health care providers the right to
deny patients medically necessary treatment
on religious grounds. Though this may seem
far-fetched, something like this could happen
in the United States. Several states, including
Michigan, have enacted conscience clauses.
These clauses would allow health care pro-
viders to withhold medical treatment with
immunity from malpractice, meaning that if
a doctor denies a patient treatment on their
moral grounds and something goes wrong, the
doctor can't be sued for malpractice.
This concept raises an important ques-
tion: Is withholding medical treatment really
worth the ramifications? If a doctor couldn't
live with the idea of prescribing a woman the
pill for medical reasons, how could they live
with the fact that their "conscience" could
kill someone? Furthermore, if we allow the
providers to invoke the conscience clause
without consequences, what is to stop them
from denying a patient other life-saving pro-
cedures such as an appendectomy or a blood
transfusion on "moral grounds"?
According to her husband, Halappanavar
was overjoyed to be pregnant. Sadly, she will
never be a mother. Because she was denied a
medical procedure, a husband has lost his wife,
parents have lost their daughter and an inno-
cent woman is dead.I can only hope that health
care providers take this into consideration
before denying another person a procedure
because of their conscience.
Kelsey Trotta is an LSA junior.

December hardly feels like
the ideal time to be making
summer plans - who has
time for that in
between finals
and booking last-
minute flights
home? But if you
dream of landing
a coveted intern-
ship in some big
city, now might MARY
be the time to GALLAGHER
start thinking
about how you'll
be spending those four months.
A common choice, especially for
students right after their freshman
year of college, is spending the sum-
mer at home - getting a job, prob-
ably going on a family vacation for
a week or two. There's a reason why
this option is so popular among stu-
dents, of course - living at home can
save you a lot of money. And if you're
working, then you'll have a head
start on rent for the next year.
There's also the appeal of recon-
necting with friends from high
school, watching TV in your base-
ment and enjoying meals that
involve more effort than microwav-
ing a Cup-a-Soup. Most of us justify
the decision to spend four months
on the couch by hatching elaborate
plans for productivity: We'll learn
to cook! We'll learn the clarinet!
We'll write, direct and star in a stage
adaptation of "Old Gregg: The Musi-
cal!" We'll get the band back togeth-
er and tour Canada!
But if we're really honest with
ourselves, how many Spanish-Eng-
lish dictionaries lay neglected on the

bookshelf as their owners browse
Reddit? How many sequels to Mac-
beth really make it past the first few
pages? The unfortunate fact is that
without at least some constructed
time, it's easyto let the long summer
days slip past with nothing to show
for those days. There's definitely
something to be said for marathon
viewings of "Arrested Develop-
ment" and day-long strategizing
over games of the Lord of the Rings
or Risk (please invite me), but those
are pleasures probably best taken
one day or week at a time. After four
months, it can get to be a little much,
and then you're stuck in Spanish
class again trying to think of some-
thing to write about how you spent
your summer.
Fortunately, there's a huge vari-
ety of other options out there just
waiting for you to take advantage
of them. It feels a little premature
to talk about summer plans when
we've hardly even seen a real snow-
fall, but the fact is that many of
the coolest summer opportunities
available have deadlines that are
fast approaching. If you're thinking
of branching out of your hometown
this summer, I'd recommend going
to get information about concen-
tration-relevant internships from a
department adviser or trusted fac-
ulty member.
The scary - and exciting - thing
about spending the summer alone in
a new place is that it really is all on
you for the first time. Without your
family, friends and the enormous
support system that we benefit from
at the University, the world is yours
to figure out. That's a terrifying

and exhilarating moment, one that
sometimes seems best to leave until
commencement. But why wait until
then? In my opinion, a few months
spent in the "real world" is a far
better learning experience than a
semester's worth of summer classes,
and you'll come back with an insight
into how your studies will (or won't)
help you when you graduate.
A few months
spent in the 'real
world' can add to
your education.
All in all, spending at least part
of the summer out of your comfort
zone can only benefit your overall
college experience, and will defi-
nitely help you better prepare for
life after college. That's why I think
that you should take a risk this sum-
mer and do something that makes
you feel scared, something you feel
barely capable of doing. The worst
that could happen is that you screw
it up and grow as a person. Opportu-
nities are popping up left and right,
in your e-mail and on billboards in
Angell Hall: Now is the time to go
for it. Unless you're applying to the
same internships as I am, that is. In
that case, back off and get back to
playing Halo on your mom's couch.
-Mary Gallagher can be
reached at mkgall@umich.edu.



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