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UWS teach-in takes up health care reform

Nearly 50 University of Wisconsin-Superior students and staff packed into a classroom in the Health and Wellness Center on Thursday for a teach-in on health insurance reform.

UWS Junior Briana Hall attended the session to fulfill coursework required for her Social Work major.

"I didn't know much [about the health care reform] at all. I came for extra credit, but I think [reform] is a good idea. Health care shouldn't be a privilege," she said.

A panel of four health experts each took turns discussing the bills that are going through Congress and explained some of the terminology surrounding the health care debate.

Senior Research Scientist of SMDC Health System Dr. Charles Gessert went into detail on what the health care reform bills entail and explained what it would take to turn these bills into law.

Gessert said with luck a law could be passed by Christmas time.

"The health care reforms in congress are now passing through the eye of the hurricane," said Gessert. "There is quite before all of the floor fights."

Buddy Robinson, who is the co-coordinator of the Greater Minnesota Health Care Coalition, spoke about what the different health care option plans, such as a single-payer plan, would provide.

Retired radiologist Dr. Patrick Schoenfelder was on hand to speak about health care from a health care provider's perspective.

Jennifer Schultz, director of the Health Care management Program at the University of Minnesota Duluth, explained how some of the health care systems work in other countries such as France, Canada and Great Britain.

UWS Senior Mike Raunio worked with professor of philosophy Dr. Richard Hudelson to put together the teach-in.

Raunio said it's an important issue for students to think about, even if they have health insurance.

"[Health care] is something you eventually have to think about. Some don't want to because it's so complex," said Raunio.

Despite the trend of the health care town hall meetings, the gathering on Thursday was remarkably calm. Students listened to what the panel had to say and asked questions afterwards.

"I never wanted to push agenda," said Raunio. "This is a school. It's not a place for hollering and arguing; it's a place for learning and discussions."