The Oregon State Public Interest Research Group, a progressive nonprofit, says it wants to help college students navigate the new health insurance market.
The group started with Portland State University on Thursday, with future plans to hit schools across the state.
Policy associate Evan Preston said the group is fielding questions about what students can do after college and providing an online resource called “So you need health insurance? Now what ?”
“We knew that this would be the moment that a lot of college students would have the opportunity, many of them for the first time, to go out in the marketplace,” Preston said
He said in addition to helping students navigate the Cover Oregon site, the state agency launched to set up the Affordable Care Act health exchange, OSPIRG is also providing a guide on how to shop for health insurance.
He said the group is not advocating for Obamacare, but rather letting students know their options.
It’s important to note the national organization was created in the 1970s under the model proposed by political activist Ralph Nadar in his book “Action for Change.” And OSPIRG has lobbied specifically on the health care exchange in Salem.
Now is a crucial time for Obamacare advocates to lure young people. The program hinges on younger, healthy people subsidizing the government-funded health care system, Watchdog.org reports.
OSPIRG has its haters.
“Our criticism of OSPRIG and their activities are not strictly based on ideology but more so on the fact that they are an extremely inefficient group that waste precious student funds,” Martin Halstrom, editor-in-chief of the Oregon Commentator, a conservative journal published at the University of Oregon, told Northwest Watchdog. “Furthermore, we also dislike them because they want money from all students yet they do not accurately represent all student views.”