Preventing pregnancy is cheapest option
Birth control prices on college campuses have increased upwards of 100 percent due to the pharmaceutical industry’s response to actions undertaken by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“Birth control prices soar on college campuses,” April 3). No matter who is at fault – CMS or the pharmaceutical industry – the health insurance industry, both private and public, should take note. Preventing pregnancies is far cheaper than the medical costs associated with unintended pregnancies.
Recently published research shows that the direct medical costs of unintended pregnancies in the United States were estimated to be $5 billion per year, while direct medical cost savings due to contraceptive use were estimated to be $19 billion.
Both Medicaid and the private health insurance industry are likely to spend significantly more for unintended pregnancies than they would have spent on contraceptive coverage. An ounce of prevention, indeed!
Director, Princeton University’s Office of Population Research
President and CEO, Association of Reproductive Health Professionals
Student government needs participation
I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who voted in the USUAA election. The unofficial results show that we earned a slim margin of victory in a highly competitive presidential election. Whenever there is a close election, a large percentage of voters will be disappointed by the results. I will work hard to remedy this and bring unity to USUAA and the student body. I promise to be fair while appointing people to boards and committees. Behnaaz Irani and I are proven problem solvers who will work hard to represent all students at UAA in a fair and ethical manner. After speaking with hundreds of students during the campaign, I have heard the concerns of the students. We will formulate a plan to solve many of these problems.
During the campaign, a sign appeared that said, “If you want to see the destruction of USUAA Vote Roberson III.” While I have no intention of destroying USUAA, I do want to see changes to the assembly (i.e., number of senators, objectives of assembly, thoughtful communication with students and voicing concerns to the Anchorage Municipality). Finally, I invite all interested (and qualified) students to join student government and be a part of the new and improved USUAA. Thank you for your time.
John Roberson III
TNL staff editorial wasn’t researched
In last week’s editorial, The Northern Light sure had the guts to let everyone know what they thought about our USUAA student government (“Student government representatives don’t represent,” April 3). It looks like they did their research and showed how our student representatives got stipends, how much they were and how our senators are not really elected because there are more open seats than people running.
Well, if you were to look at the big picture, senators only get $100 for a stipend. If I did not want to be a senator, it would take more than $100 for me to spend every Friday in USUAA meetings, as well as time in their office, and time spent in other meetings in committees. If you were to break down the stipend for any of our representatives into the dollars per hour they could make spending that time in the work force to help pay for school, they would be making less money than extorted Ethiopians growing coffee.
This person forgot to do all their research, though. What did our senators do with their stipends? Some senators, including Karl Wing, either donated their stipends or spent them to help the school in some way, such as helping UAA get a five-acre open field for activities and room for our residents to play.
All I have say to The Northern Liight editorial staff is this: If you really want to make a difference, join our student government. You pointed out that you could easily get on without much effort, and you will be able to make more changes for good there than in writing in our local editorial column. Perhaps you just lack the will for all the hard work it takes to be in student government.
Grow some cajones, and get involved.
Secession should be studied for feasibility
Maybe it is time that UAA separate from the University of Alaska system and call ourselves Alaska State University (“Earmarked funds sweeten university research programs,” April 3). I personally would hate for that to happen, but it might be the only way we could establish our university as a competitive research university, and one that offers stand-alone Ph.D.s. I might be completely wrong, but at least a feasibility study should be done to see if it is a viable option.