A letter to all Illini

You probably didn’t know that as a college student you’ve been running the dangerous risk of losing your health insurance. Until recently, students facing a serious medical condition such as a cancer diagnosis have had to keep a full-time course load just to receive lifesaving medical treatment.

Thanks to the passage of a bill that President Bush signed into law last year, students no longer have to choose between their health and well-being.

Michelle’s Law allows college students with a serious injury or illness such as cancer to take up to 12 months medical leave to focus on their recovery without the risk of being dropped from a parent’s insurance plan.

The new law is named after Michelle Morse, a New Hampshire college student who was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2004. Michelle was forced to juggle a full course load while undergoing debilitating chemotherapy just to remain on her parent’s health insurance plan. Michelle ultimately lost her battle with cancer.

We commend our elected officials and President Bush for recognizing the importance of this issue and ensuring that college students no longer find themselves in Michelle’s position. Thanks to our efforts, Michelle’s Law took effect on Oct. 9, 2009.

Caitlin Griffin

senior in Business