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“You shouldn”t make a living off of killing other people, and that’s what the insurance companies are doing.”

In Hicks Student Center at Kalamazoo College I met up with Rosie Capps, a Masters student, at Western Michigan University, currently completing her clinic hours at the Student Health Center at K college over the summer. She is researching the sexual health of students and what types of programs would be most beneficial to encourage students to practice safe sex. Our interview explored her research findings and her thoughts on the Affordable Care Act.
Capps finds the Health Center at WMU a highly beneficial resource to the student body, offering many testing and screening programs as well as pharmaceutical and general care services. When I asked her what she thought of Kalamazoo’s Student Health Center, she said, with a smile, that while it was small they still provided much more than many other university health centers. She explained the most important thing that health centers can offer their students is a list of good resources off campus. Capps feels that it is crucial to not only offer students an excellent medical home on campus, it is also important “that the health center is able to refer a student to quality services in the community, whether that be the Family Health Center, Bronson or Borgess, or Planned Parenthood.”
As an active member in the community, Capps says that Kalamazoo has a lot to offer the residents in terms of health care. She has visited Planned Parenthood, and finds the staff welcoming and the services fantastic. To her, Planned Parenthood is one of the best resources for young adults in Kalamazoo, offering a wide variety of programs aimed at preventative care initiatives. Capps says, “birth control and condoms are necessary, many college students don”t use them and students think they are invincible”. She believes that it is important to have easy access to sexual health resources, especially in this city which has several institutions of higher learning with many sexually active young adults. Capps is happy that the Affordable Care Act has expanded individuals access to items such as, birth control, STD and HIV testing as well as offering their clients counseling. In the past, “HIV has been a big issue in Kalamazoo”, so Capps is happy to see that services are now expanding because of the ACA. She states “HIV is out there and people are getting infected everyday, so more education and preventative care is necessary.”
Besides the Planned Parenthood, Capps also sees Bronson’s Women’s Health Ward as a great resource, which offers prenatal care, cancer screenings, and other preventative care. While the ward has amazing services, she says it is only accessible to the few. It limits the types of insurance it takes, and as Bronson is a private hospital and medical center, they can charge as much as they want for the care they offer.
Capps says she has benefitted from the ACA herself, by being able to stay on her mother’s health insurance plan. She says there have been some setbacks to this, not as many providers take her mother’s insurance plan especially because she is not originally from this area. She recalls when she was trying to find a dentist a while ago and realized that only three dentists near
Kalamazoo would even take her insurance. While there are many problems with the insurance industry she says, “there are many more services that are covered to an extend”. She says in reality though, “the average person can”t pay the steep bills the insurance companies won’t cover”.
Capps feels that the main concern the ACA needs to focus on is the expansion of care. She says “for chronic diseases, there needs to be more coverage” as those can affect people for a large portion of their lives. Capps states that care is “so expensive here, [and] so much comes out of pocket”, which can serve a s a hardship if you have any type of condition, especially one that is chronic. She says that health care in countries like Cuba and the Dominican Republic have much better coverage and health outcomes than here in America, which “seems so backwards, seeing as we are this ‘great’ industrialized country, and our health care is worse than those in some underdeveloped countries”.
Rosie closed by telling me that she recently heard an interview with Mark Ruffalo who stated, “You shouldn”t make a living off of killing other people, and that’s what the insurance companies are doing.” She says that while the system is flawed, she is hopeful of what the ACA will do for this country since, “you never know when you are going to need help, there are times when everyone needs a helping hand.”

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