By Ron Meyer, Young America’s Foundation

“If you like your healthcare plan, you will be able to keep your healthcare plan. Period.”

Well, for many young people, that’s a boldfaced lie. Period.

Universities across the country are facing a challenge thanks to ObamaCare: Either double your student health insurance budget or drop student coverage. As we’ve seen this week, multiple institutions were financially forced to choose the latter.

The most covered of these has been Franciscan University.

ObamaCare fatally affected Franciscan University on two fronts. First, ObamaCare’s price controls—now taking effect—call for 50% higher premiums for young people, and along with these hikes also came more cost-inducing regulation and paperwork for universities. Second, ObamaCare through Health and Human Services demands that religious institutions, including Franciscan, must pay for abortion bills and contraception.

Now these Catholic students can’t keep the healthcare plan. The university, as a matter of fiscal prudency and religious principle, was coerced into dropping these students’ plans.

And, students aren’t going to take it anymore.

Tanya Chichester, chair of the Young Americans for Freedom chapter at Franciscan University, had this to say in a statement:

We stand with our fellow students to defend Franciscan University’s decision to drop healthcare coverage for students. Frankly, the government left them with no choice.

We realize that by providing healthcare coverage, Franciscan University would be forced to go against our fundamental Catholic teachings and to raise tuition exorbitantly to cover these added costs. Franciscan students choose this university to receive a degree infused with the knowledge of being a witness for Christ—that is our freedom.

Franciscan University should’ve never been forced into making a decision contrary to our religious conscience. ObamaCare is hurting young people by forcing institutions into this Catch-22. Franciscan University YAF sees ObamaCare, along with the HHS mandate, as a blatant violation of first amendment rights.

Franciscan students support the university’s decision and are prepared for the inconvenience of finding their own healthcare coverage. We are prepared to defend our Catholic and conservative beliefs, and we hope young people across the nation will join us in this battle.

YAF’s national organization supports these students’ efforts and will continue to work with these young people to create a national movement. Despite what the Obama administration claims, ObamaCare is a drastically anti-youth policy.

Sure, young people can mooch off of their (hopefully rich) parents’ plans until they’re 26. It still doesn’t change the fact that whoever is paying for a young person’s premium—be it their employer, educator, parent, or themself—will be paying 50% more. For young people, this means: less money, lower wages, higher tuition, angry parents, or all of the above.

Ron Meyer is a program officer with Young America’s Foundation. Young Americans for Freedom is a project of Young America’s Foundation. For more updates on this story and others, visit

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