Blimp Disaster ObamacareBy Stephen Smoot

With all the most dire predictions of disaster coming true for
Obamacare, one would imagine that academic elites would prescribe

Not West Virginia University. 

to the Charleston Gazette
, the land grant school
of a state whose motto is “Mountaineers are always free” dictated
to its students that they must carry health care by fall 2014.

Students learned of the new dictate in an email sent to all
students last week from Vice President of Student Affairs, Ken
Gray.  The rationale for the new policy was that “health
problems can interfere with academic success.”

 Reading further reveals the real reason.  “WVU
contracts with Aetna Student Health Insurance to offer an
affordable, comprehensive, ACA-compliant policy tailored to student
needs.”  It also offers the Obamacare site link as a

The original federal law establishing funding for state colleges
and universities, passed during the 1860s, includes this

 . . . each State which may take and claim the benefit
of this act, to the endowment, support, and maintenance of at least
one college where the leading object shall be, without excluding
other scientific and classical studies, and including military
tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to
agriculture and the mechanic arts, in such manner as the
legislatures of the States may respectively prescribe, in order to
promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial
classes in the several pursuits and professions in life.

Nowhere in the Morrill Land Grant Act does it say anything about
advancing divisive policies or forcing students to purchase

 The farther that liberals drive higher education away from its
core purpose of education, the less relevant these institutions

Here is the full text of the email sent to students:


Dear WVU Parents, Students, and Families:

Because health problems can interfere with academic success,
West Virginia University is in the process of making important
changes in the health care of our students. WELLWVU: The Students’
Center of Health has expanded its services, delivery strategies,
and programs.  The changes will promote, educate, and support
students in keeping healthy and adopting positive lifestyle
choices. These changes include:

New, consolidated wellness facility with expanded
 – During the summer 2014, all of the
services and programs within WELLWVU (Student Health, Carruth
Center for Psychological and Psychiatric Services, and the Office
of Wellness and Health Promotion) will be moved to their new
Evansdale campus location adjacent to the Student Recreation
Center. The expansion of our services includes a partnership with
WVU Healthcare that allows for extended evening and weekend clinic
hours and enhanced coordination with WVU Healthcare specialty
services. The new WELLWVU Student Health clinic is staffed by
physician faculty from the WVU School of Medicine and other WVU
Healthcare providers, and is designed to provide prompt and
comprehensive medical care for a complete range of student health

 academic year 2014-15, all WVU
students will be required to have health care coverage.  Many
universities around the country use this model to ensure that
students are protected against unforeseen and catastrophic medical

Billing Insurance for Medical
 – Students using the medical services
provided at the WELLWVU Student Health Center may have these
services either billed to their health insurance provider or pay
from their own resources when services are rendered; the choice is
theirs. If students choose to use their health insurance, they will
be asked to provide the co-payment (as determined by their carrier)
at the time of service. Students will need to present a copy of
their insurance card upon check-in. Insurance can also be billed
for any medical costs incurred if the student is referred for
testing or treatments. Please be aware that many plans require
prior approval before a student can be seen by anyone except their
primary care provider. Students should inquire with their family’s
insurance company to discuss their eligibility of benefits and
reimbursement procedures before using WELLWVU Student Health.

Aetna Student Insurance – If your
student is in need of health insurance, WVU contracts with Aetna
Student Health Insurance to offer an affordable, comprehensive,
ACA-compliant policy tailored to student needs. Information can be
obtained at or by
calling 304-293-0257.  To be certain that your
insurance, or any insurance that you choose to purchase for your
student, meets the criteria required by WVU, please go

The Affordable Care Act
 –  The
Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers qualified students who are
uninsured with options for discounted or free health insurance.
Open enrollment began October 1, 2013, and ends March 31,
2014. For more information call 1-800-318-2596 or
visit the website

Additional Health Care
 -WELLWVU student health patient
information is stored in a  secure, consolidated electronic
record system managed by WVU Healthcare | WVU Hospitals. New
patients are encouraged to provide necessary registration
information in advance by calling 1-800-324-1468 (or
locally 304-598-4998) before they need to use WELLWVU

MyWVUChart – All registered
patients will be assigned a medical record number that enables them
to use MyWVUChart. This service will allow students to request an
appointment with a provider, access their health summary, view test
results, request a refill for prescriptions, and communicate
electronically with their medical care team. Once proper
authorization is given, if elected, this electronic record also can
be viewed by other health care providers, such as the student’s
home town physician.  Students can register for this service

Please visit the WELLWVU website ( for more information as
well as a comprehensive list of WELLWVU services and
programs.  If you have questions about the new insurance
requirement, please call 304-293-WELL (9355) or e-mailWELLWVUbusinessServices@mail. Our
mission is to enable students to successfully achieve their
academic goals and promote lifelong wellness.

Thank you,

Ken Gray

Vice President for Student Affairs 

Stephen Smoot is the Director of Academic Programs for the National Journalism Center

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