Berkeley Students Vote on Campus Health Care Fees
Students at the University of California-Berkeley are expected to begin voting Tuesday on whether to increase the amount they pay for on-campus health care, the Contra Costa Times reports. During the three-day online vote, students will vote on a proposal to pay $86 more each year to expand services and increase staffing at the Tang Center, which provides health care services to Berkeley students.
Claudia Covello, clinical services director at Berkeley, said that the Tang Center has lost 13 doctors, nurse and nurse practitioners and more than $2 million in funding over the past three years in part because of budget cuts and increasing health care costs.
Berkeley administrators also have reduced the number of doctor appointments and the hours during which urgent care services are provided and cut some mental health services.
According to a survey in October 2004, 51% of Berkeley students said they supported paying a flat fee for health care services, compared with 22% who would rather pay for health care services on a usage basis.
A simple majority is required to approve the referendum, provided that at least 20% of students participate in the vote (Krupnick, Contra Costa Times, 3/7).