I have been told that should I get a paralegal certificate (18 credits) that I will get a job as a paralegal, so I enrolled in college to take online classes. So my tuition this fall if I attend full time will be somewhere between 5000-6000, of which 2000 of which is for health insurance. Needless to say I balked for multiple reasons, particularly religious reasons. For privacy reasons, I won't quote the university here. The gist of the defense of their policy is that they think students should have access to low cost health insurance. Needless to so, I told them I refuse and threatened to sue in equity and if necessary tort. A week, maybe two weeks later, I get an email for an associate attorney who also send copies to a dean, her supervision, a risk manager, and someone in student life. So needless to say, I stuck a chord. Not sure how much they make an hour, or why they are so attached to forcing students to buy health insurance rather than granting students waivers.
It is part of a larger university network. Ours don't have a meal plan system, but other locations do. Because of my advanced years and bad experiences in life, I have been exposed to things other students have not, and needless to say I know how to fight back-when like everyone else I just want to be let alone and live my own life. So the meal plans are over $2000 for 16 weeks, or about $18/day. The price of wholesale food is dirt cheap-like 100lbs of potatoes for $6-maybe even $3 now due to covid19 if you want to get some idea of the abuse. But even prison systems, which have a legal duty to feed their inmates two nutritious meals a day, can operate on 1-2/day. So if I seek an injunction, obviously i am going to try to craft a ruling to include that. Certainly some students reading may say, well I don't want prison food-for which an easy rebuttal is use the $16-17 differential to buy what they choose. Between health insurance and meal plans over the course of a 4 year degree, a student purely focused on his budget could save $24000 (obviously I am rounding to 6k a year) if the universities respected his property rights. I don't expect all students to be purists, but the students with the greatest financial need, naturally they will be closer to being purists. $24k is about $3000 shy of the reported average student debt in America, just sit on that for a while as we have a student debt crisis. 50% of students are living with their parents after college and delaying major life decisions. Keep that in mind when the university states their policy is a projection of what they think is in a students interest, how literally depressing what the end product is. For 4 years other peole decided how best to spend your money, and now you are wasting away the prime years of your life.
So needless to say I responded saying that if I am forced to litigate, that I will be seeking an order focusing on strict scrutiny not just for the health care mandate-but also the dining commmons, and that the court when looking at the numbers will not favor the predatory nature of the university. Of course suddenly a $2000 dispute suddenly jumps to risks of upwards of $100 million loss on the university system-well the health care aspect is supposed to go to a third party-but you pretty much expect there are kickbacks back to the university and likely their employees. I am not really after tort damages, but may have to pursue nominal or symbolic damages to keep the suit alive if it goes that far. From a risk management aspect, it is best if the university just grants a waiver. But granting waivers could create a ripple effect, other students may do the same thing-which i think would be great. Rebellion to tyranny is Obedience to God.
Having finally broken through the system and got a response from counsel their defense is almost silly. They for example argue that going to a university is a choice. the University is bound by federal laws, and it is not a defense for them to say it is ok for them to break the laws because other universities don't-Imagine a murderer using that defense. But that kind of slimy attitude might be away to influence naive students. Unfortunately, they recognized their are medishare type programs that nearly undermined a RLUIPA argument based entirely upon my opposition to contraceptives and abortion. However, there are news media reports that the university health insurance policies do not always honor other health insurance policies. So it doesn't preclude a RLUIPA suit. Their counsel proclaimed that the University respected all the religious rights of all students, To which I had to laugh and called her out of her lie in an email. There are faith groups opposed to the shedding of blood, to blood transfusions, organ transplants, etc-good luck finding insurance taylored to each of these. Religious exercises doesn't have to be based upon doctrine to be protected. Additionally the affordable care act itself provided for religious exemptions not covered by the University and their so called expert health brokers. 26 USC 1402(g)(1) may be a bit draconian, and this exception still fails to pass first amendment scrutiny, but luckily the congress decided to set the tax penalty to 0 so no one has to take these draconian measures-but they still exists in the ACA framework.
I called the associate counsel out-who also happens to be a university law professor. But to her defense, I don't see any record that she has actually practice law-outside of being a cop-which might explain her hostility to property and natural rights. But just keep that in mind about the attorneys out law schools are pumping out when the people educating them may have no formal legal practice themselves. Also keep that in mind should these people move up to be judges and make rulings on qualified immunity and let dirty cops walk free. Certainly you can start to understand why people are rightfully concerned about the state of our judiciary and our law schools.
Because the university seizes a student'is money first, then demands that he finds an alternative if they don't like their health insurance offering that this is a fundamental breach of due process rights-particularly when the university's broker can still deny the alternative resulting in a student being double charges.
In any suit, one shouldn't focus on one venue of attack.There is of course a takings issue with the 5th amendment. Can a University do these things? The courts to the best of my knowledge has only considered the case once-as applied to foreign students in the 1986 case Ahmed v. University of Toledo, 664 F. Supp. 282 (N.D. Ohio 1986). Foreign students do not have the same rights as american students, and are subject to reasonable federal and institutional regulations. Although the court's logic could be tested some 34 years later now that everyone has email, and many people have cryptocurrencies, crowd sourcing,or other money transfer services like paypal, and greater access to lines of credit and credit cards [knucklebusters back then]-We are not entitled to such modern considerations, but are locked into the past rulings until overturned. But back then the courts recognized the risk of foreign students should they have some kind of medical emergency. I am not saying I agree, if a Saudi Prince were to attend an American University you can instantly see how frivolous the argument of the Ohio district court is on an as applied challenge. as a whole, it may be that the ohio federal district court didn't want foreign students students to stiff american hospitals.
I am Wondering at what point I should say that it is because of Marxist policies that i have been planning and training to leave the country-heck. But luckily the decision continues to further narrow their rationale.
So as you see, the courts justify this, and discrimination against them, because they are foreign students subject to immigration law and a so called demonstration of financial responsibility. Again, 50% of American college students after earning a degree are moving back with their parents and delaying major life decisions because of crushing student loan debts. But the University back in the 1980s only wanted $108, not $2000+ that universities are demanding today. The choice of words the court used, protection from catastrophic harm, may imply that the ruling was limited to catastrophic health insurance. low cost, but high deductible. Great for risk adverse healthy people, which is why Obama destroyed them.
Here you noticed the court saying strict scrutiny is not appropriate, which would be what I would still argue a court to use-and to especially pound the math. But there are other test that can and should be used, including the rational basis test. So technical both should be raised.
Here the federal government lays out the rational basis test. The student/plaintiff needs to show that the university policy is unrelated to a rational state interest. The Plyler v Doe case cited specifically uses a substantial state interest-one might have to sheppardize what is the correct standard to use today-some 34 years later (of which the definitions of immigants have changed). Here you notice also that the court did recognize the need for foreign students to have protection while also recognizing they didn't have a right to attend the universities without reasonable regulations. Perhaps this is why Universities jump to their projection that it is in the American students interest to have access to what they call inexpensive health insurance-even though the ruling did not apply to to American students. Nor did their ruling address any insurance other than protection from catastrophic harm. Although Obamacare tainted catastrophic coverage to have a low deductible and higher premiums, for students under 30 or who could other quality for catastrophic coverage may be able to challenge the Universities standards for having a metal type plan.
Because the ruling has never been applied to American students, nor mandated for anything other than catastrophic harm, it is still an open legal question. A question that at a minimum level of scrutiny would require the rational basis test. Given that a college education is seen as a means of escaping poverty, in the case of my institution, it is hard to justify why an additional $24000 should be used as a barrier prevent a student from obtaining a 4 year degree. it is also interesting to note that the previous year, same university system, I went in to learn how to work with powertools, do welding, and use plasma cutters-no health insurance was needed. Hmm, online paralegal program from the safety one ones own home and garden, or working with blinding lights, high voltage high amperage, molton steel. Although this may be a localize example that probably can't be used at your university if you are reading and copying, you can see how in my localized case the university system's argument fell completely apart. An additional fault is that here, half time stdents aren't required to have health insurance, So there are two modes of attacks. One is that a student half timing it is exposed to twice the risk. The alternative would be looking to either high risk degree programs such as chemical or electrical engineering who would be exempt as a half time student and do an applied challenge. The differential in risk, whether it be an academic course, or an athletic event, I think would help convince a court to use a test of strict scrutiny rather then rational basis test. But that is not all. The supreme court would have ruled the ACA unconstitutional if it were not a tax, and the university's policy does not have a tax like scheme. My state also doesn't mandate health insurance. The federal congress abolished the tax mandate, and the 5th circuit struck down the ACA. So not only is their scheme unlawful according to the supreme court, no applicable state entity has decided why a college student needs health insurance but other people do not.
If a student reader is interesting is opposing these Marxist schemes at your own university, you should contact a lawyer in your area-preferably a free consultation. Additionally you may have a duty to mitigate the damage, in my case I may have to drop down to half time status.
What is really going on that they need to charge $18/day for food, and charge the least vulnerable people $2000/year in insurance.
if you felt this piece worthwhile, continue to make a discussion of it, continue to spread it. Together we can make america great again. Though I am not seeking damages, other than perhaps nominal ($1), there may be a potential for class action status and finding an attorney who can work on contingency. Obviously if I am obtaining a paralegal certificate, I am not a lawyer.