Students consider health plan impact
The University of Miami’s Young and College Democrats sat next to the College Republicans as other students waited anxiously in line to vote at the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables.
Red, white and blue balloons surrounded them, and materials supporting President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney filled their tables. As college students voted, some for the first time, different issues weighed on their minds.
For senior Alexander Rodriguez, a College Republicans volunteer and Romney supporter, health-care reform was the most important issue in 2012. The Affordable Care Act, often called “Obamacare,” was the reason Rodriguez’s grandmother was denied access to treatment, he said.
“My grandmother was paralyzed because of malpractice,” he said. “During the vice presidential debates, Joe Biden said that no elderly person, under their health-care reform, has been denied. That is a lie. My grandmother has been denied, and she continues to be denied to this day.”
Another UM student, Brandon Barsky, a sophomore studying biology on the pre-med track, disagreed with Rodriguez. He said Obamacare was the president’s greatest achievement of the last four years in office.
“My brother is going through medical treatment, and Obama’s health-care plan is why he can receive treatment,” Barsky said. His brother is no longer a student but is able to stay on their parents’ health-care plan because he is under age 26.
“I believe many people are misinformed and don’t know what Obama’s health-care plan is or what the benefits of it are,” Barsky said.
As a first-time voter, UM sophomore Nana-Yaa Amaning, 19, said she saw voting as so important, she rose at dawn.
“When I woke up at 6 a.m. to vote, I thought it was going to be a hassle, but 6 a.m. was the only time I had to do it, and it’s something that had to be done,” said Amaning, who studies political science, communication studies and public advocacy at UM.
When it came to voting for president, Amaning said she took into consideration the character of each candidate.
“What I’m looking for is someone who has everyone’s best interest in mind and not just those Americans who are relative to the individual candidate.”