I’m from Long Island, New York. I was always set on going to Cortland ever since I was a kid so I was very happy when I found out that I had been accepted. I wanted to go to SUNY Cortland for as long as I could remember because growing up my mom’s good friend that went to SUNY Oneonta told me that Cortland was a good state school to go to for exercise science. I’ve always wanted to major and get my degree in exercise science and this seemed like the best place for me to do it.
Besides school, I often worry about my health insurance and coverage. Growing up I always remember my mother struggling with healthcare for her and I. I am still currently under my mom’s health insurance however, it doesn’t do much for us because it honestly isn’t that great and it adds more stress into our daily lives. There are often times that I don’t even have health insurance since my parents are in and out of jobs and had to wait to be able to get coverage until they were employed. It made our lives very difficult, and still does. I’m 22 years old so I am becoming very concerned when I turn 26 and need to get off my mom’s health insurance. Although I do not personally handle my own medical bills right now, I often feel the stress of my mom and try to help her out as much as I can since I know she struggles.
I believe that health care should be free as it is in most European countries. I think it is extremely unfair that some people get worse health insurance than others just because they don’t have a job that’s as good, or a job at all. In fact, health insurance should be better for those that are unemployed living at a disadvantage due to the fact that it is proven that people living at a disadvantage encounter more health issues. I think that health insurance needs to be reconsidered.
I am a SUNY Cortland student in the second year of my undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Science for Biomedical studies. I was born in Ghana and moved to the Bronx at a very young age. I chose to attend SUNY Cortland for many reasons, but finances were not a focus of mine. Cortland was appealing to me because it was far from home while also being close enough to be comfortable. When I came to my first open house before I confirmed my attendance at Cortland, I learned that the campus size and class and club opportunities were ideal for me, and I was set on where I wanted to go.
My mother is a nurse, and my insurance is through her job. The biggest stressors that have occurred for my family and I is medical debt and payments on medical debt. A big problem that my family has faced is feeling rushed to pay and having the idea that consequences will come from not paying them on time. I have a firm belief that equal health care is important to a successful society. Healthcare is one thing that our government can control and is a basic human need and right. I think that if the government wants to provide for the people and provide advocacy for the people, their first focus should be on making a form of state-wide healthcare. People struggle with so many things in everyday life and healthcare shouldn’t be one. People should be able to rely on their healthcare to be available and simple to use. Equality is a very important idea for me because I think that if New York state will be providing insurance it should have equal and basic plans for all. People get taxed for things such as fixing roads or community construction but not for healthcare and that’s not right.
I am a SUNY Cortland student in my fourth year. I am a dual major in Spanish and Sociology with a concentration in Criminology. I was born in the Dominican Republic where I lived until I was 12 when my mother decided it would be better for us in the United States. I currently live in the Bronx when I am not away at school. I have been at SUNY Cortland for my entire college career. I chose to go here because my high school volleyball coach attended SUNY Cortland and they promoted this college all throughout high school. Along with that, I wanted to go away to school, and Cortland provided the best EOP program for myself and my family.
In my family, insurance is through my mother through the government. There have been many times when a member of my family needed a prescription, but insurance wouldn’t cover it, so we simply just went without it. When I was in high school, there was a point when I didn’t have insurance, and we weren’t able to get our annual physicals; the school almost kicked us out. At this time, I didn’t have insurance because my mother was switching to a different insurance company due to my sister going upstate for school at it being too far for the insurance to cover.
Recently, I went through a tough situation with medication from my insurance company. An uncommonly known fact of birth control prescriptions within the United States is that to refill a prescription of birth control pills a patient needs to attend an annual appointment with their OBGYN. When it was time for me to attend my appointment, I was in the Dominican Republic, and instead, I made an appointment with a doctor there. I was not aware that the United States doctor would not accept this visit and still wouldn’t prescribe my pills. If I were to go off these pills, since they’re hormonal, it would affect my body in multiple ways even if it were only for a few days. So, prior to running out of pills, I decided to go to the closest planned parenthood to me. Because of the type of insurance that I had, I was worried that I would have to pay completely out of pocket. Before insurance, the visit, tests, and my prescription would cost over $100 on top of the $105 I had already spent on transportation to and from the facility but luckily it was covered. If my doctor and insurance could have made an exception one time, I would have been able to avoid all of this.
I feel that we need to make a universal, single-payer form of health care for so many reasons. With a universal form of healthcare, my mom wouldn’t have had to change my insurance because my sister went away to school, my family could have always gotten the prescriptions they needed at a decent cost, and I would have never had to go to planned parenthood which some insurance companies do not cover. If I am working and paying taxes in this country, I believe insurance shouldn’t be something I need to be concerned with.
I live in Staten Island, New York. I wasn’t always set on going to Cortland to be honest. I grew up going to private Catholic schools, so I always expected to go to a smaller school for college as well. But as it turns out, I ended up at Cortland and I couldn’t be more grateful! I am graduating from SUNY Cortland this semester, however I do intend to go to grad school hopefully in the fall.
Although I am constantly stressed out about school, I also often stress about my insurance and health care coverage. Growing up I always remember my parents struggling with healthcare for my sister and I. I am still currently under my dad’s health insurance, however it doesn’t do much for me due to the fact that it isn’t too great and it adds more stress into my parent’s daily lives. Even after using our insurance at doctor’s visits, my parents still have to pay a costly amount which makes our lives very difficult. I often try to help them while I can since my sister is not yet old enough to work, but it is often very hard since when I am away at school I don’t have a job. I’m 22 years old so I am becoming very concerned when I turn 26 and need to get off my father’s health insurance. Even though I don’t take care of my medical bills right now I see the stress my parents and family get from it.
I believe that health care should be free for everyone. It is not fair in any way that the people who don’t have as good a job have worse health insurance than those that do. In fact, it should be the other way around because those that do have good jobs have a higher chance to afford medical bills than those that do not. People often do not realize the stress that healthcare and insurance constantly are put on to a family.
I’m currently majoring in Theater and Communication as a minor. I am a fifth year student at SUNY New Paltz. After I graduate college, I am looking into the acting industry and trying to become an actor. I am covered through my parents’ health insurance, and I am concerned about losing my health insurance. I know that we had to change insurance a bunch of times, because we stopped being eligible for the previous ones. My parents have not held a job that provided us with health insurance. Thank God my family and I have been healthy, so we are not struggling with high medical bills or debt right now. Even though my family have never struggled with health care, I know people have broken their finger and can’t go get checked because they only have Medicaid and don’t get as much coverage. I believe that considering how advanced this country is we should have a better health care system. If you put a little more taxes towards medical care instead of other things, I believe it would make a huge difference in the quality of care. Universal health care is good because everyone has the right to live and lead a healthy life. We have no control over health, and having people pay that much to get help is absurd. Specifically people that are struggling financially and don’t have access to health insurance. You’re just adding more stress with debt if they choose to get the help that they need.
My name is Kisbel Estevez. I am studying Sociology with a concentration in Criminology, and a double minor in Deaf Studies and Communication. I am a senior at SUNY New Paltz. I plan on attending Graduate school in Manhattan. There have been many occasions where myself and/or my family members have needed medical assistance but we’re told our insurance wasn’t accepted so we were turned away. We were forced to deal with it ourselves most of the time. I am covered through my mother’s job, I have Health First Medicaid. I am very much concerned about losing my health benefits; health benefits are not something that comes easy to minorities in America, sad to say. I am struggling with costs of medical bills. Hospital visits can be overwhelming. It can be a back and forth dispute between hospital expenses and my insurance covering it. It is very unreasonable how we are not able to have accessible healthcare for all when many other places around the world are able to achieve this. Universal healthcare is a good idea, because a universal system doesn’t rely solely on government funding. It can provide better coverage for every person. We need to put more efforts into providing a more accessible healthcare system which provides TO ALL.
My name is Jessica Ezem. I am a Theater major with Concentration in Performance and Minor in Black Studies. I am a Junior at SUNY New Paltz. I have an idea of what I want to do after I graduate college but I have no concrete plan. My family and I have never encountered the issue of not receiving healthcare when needed. I have health insurance covered by Medicaid under my parents. I fear I’ll lose coverage from aging out of my parents plan. I know sooner or later I will have to apply and have my own plan. My family does not struggle with medical bills, but I do have people close to me that do because of their insurance coverage. We need a more equitable health care system; everyone should have access to resources to take care of themselves and their health. The determined factor of life and death shouldn’t be based on the amount of money a person makes. Someone shouldn’t have to decide between paying bills for their health or paying their rent bill. Universal healthcare is a great idea; it ensures healthcare for all.
My name is Aryssa Hernandez. I am studying Psychology with a concentration in Biology. I am a Junior at SUNY New Paltz. I plan on obtaining a master In Psychological Counseling after college. There was a time my grandma needed healthcare and wasn’t able to get it. My grandma was unable to get healthcare due to her residence status. She had to pay out of pocket for her bills which was a hardship on the family. I have health insurance through my parents’ jobs.
I am also concerned about losing my health benefits due to aging out of my parents plan, because my parents will no longer be able to keep me on their plan once I turn 26. 26 seems far but it is around the corner. My parents have never lost a job that provided us insurance, but I see them put up with a job they hate in order to keep their health insurance. My family has not experienced COVID medical bills or long term symptoms, but as someone who used to work in the emergency, this was very common. Health isn’t a privilege, it is a right. Many are stuck in a toxic work place just to make sure that their families have health insurance and this takes a mental toll. Additionally, it causes the pile up of medical bills which can cause detrimental effects on a family. Universal healthcare is a good idea because it would act an equity as health is a right and access to healthcare is also a right.
My name is Isabelle Pastore and I attend SUNY Cortland full time. I am a senior now, but I have been here since freshman year. I am from Long Island, more specifically Stony Brook. My Senate District is 2 and my Assembly District is 4. I decided to go to SUNY Cortland because my parents only allowed me to apply to SUNY schools. Cortland seemed like a good choice because I absolutely loved it when I visited. I toured a couple of other schools, but Cortland truly felt like home. A few of my friends were going to Cortland too, so I knew I would be comfortable here. I am majoring in Communications and I love it, but I’m not really sure what I want to do in the future.
Thankfully, my Mom’s job provides my family with really good insurance. My dad and brother both have diabetes, which is very costly. I don’t know much about how insurance covers their illness, but I believe most of it is covered. Although most of it is covered, it’s difficult to get the supplies they need and is still very expensive for us. The pandemic was a difficult time for my family and I. During COVID-19, my Dad unfortunately lost his job. Fortunately, my Mom also works so we still had an income, but it wasn’t enough for all of our everyday costs. It was hard for awhile and there was even a time where I thought I would have to transfer home to attend school there. Luckily, my mom is the one who gives us insurance, so we didn’t have to worry about that. I am very worried about paying for my own insurance in the future because I don’t know what my future holds and if I’ll even ever get a job. I think we need a more equitable health care system because it is very expensive and hectic. I know many people who don’t even have insurance because they can’t afford it. Healthcare is vital and everyone should be able to have it.