As you know, I’m a believer in starting conversations. Towards that goal I’ve spliced my verrrry lengthy earlier article into a series on #nikitalyfe called Volatile Opinions, based on college students across America’s opinions on various contentious issues right now.
Here are some opinions I collected from my peers about reforms and cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at the one-month mark of the Trump Presidency}
Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you favor, these past months have shown what democracy at work looks like, in a way that the Founding Fathers could only have hoped for. Laypeople have made it a point to take time out of their routines to reach out to their government officials by calling representatives and stating their opinions on issues that matter to them.
Neha Rao, a medical student at Texas A&M, and her peers hand-wrote letters to elected government officials sharing their personal stories as to why they became doctors and their staked interest in the status of their patients, when the Trump Administration first announced their decision to repeal the ACA.
“Our main goal was to urge those in power not to take away these beneficial policies until they have a better plan of action in place to care for the millions who would become uninsured should the ACA be repealed,” explains Rao. “We included our stories to help leaders understand that first and foremost, medicine is about people, and at the end of the day, we need safeguards for the [people] who rely on the ACA for fundamental care.”
“I work in a hospital that [predominantly] serves minority patients. Almost all are on government health insurance: some are refugees, undocumented immigrants, or poor. I want to ask supporters of Yiannopoulos and those who support ridding of the ACA: have you ever met my patients?” seconded Jolene Won, a pre-med student at UC Davis.
On the other hand, Americans such as Gabby Wolf, a management student at SMU, sees subjects such as climate change and healthcare as outside of the government’s jurisdiction. “I hated Obamacare to begin with because it did way more harm than help, so I’m glad to see it go. As for climate change; it’s nothing we need to be too concerned about. The Earth gradually goes through a natural heating and cooling process over thousands of years.
“Media is very liberally biased; they’ll start with a true story and find a way to make it controversial or exciting to grab people’s attention. The real issue is that people are too ignorant, lazy, and stubborn to hear both sides and get all the facts before they start speaking. I for one am a conservative Christian, but I’m always more than willing to sit down and discuss anything with anyone to try to understand their view or solidify mine. The current political climate is interesting because a lot of people feel entitled to act without thinking things through,” shared Gabby. “I personally love Pence.”
Other people weighed in with counter-opinions on changes to the EPA. “No one in the Trump Administration has the scientific experience to judge thousands of peer-reviewed research projects as falsified,” expressed Spencer Showalter, a marine biology student at Boston University. “They are systematically impugning the entire concept of science, and while I may be damaged immediately by lack of federal funding and grants, the entire world will be damaged by the rejection of sound science which allows us to interact productively with our natural resources.”
I’ll be continuing my #nikitalyfe series on “Volatile Opinions” with a post about college student opinions from across the U.S on the controversial executive order that banned entry for refugees and muslims. Stay tuned!