Should ObamaCare be the model for higher education?
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How detached from reality must someone be to cite ObamaCare as a model of a good government program?

Insurance premiums have skyrocketed for citizens an average of 22 percent, and numerous insurance exchanges have folded, often leaving people with only one healthcare provider per state.

With this track record, it’s hard to fathom how many on the left are trying to replicate the failed ObamaCare business model in college education.

Liberal education elites are actively working to attack the Trump Administration’s higher education policies with a goal of closing the doors at privately run schools in favor of a government-run program bureaucrats can control.

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These liberal education “experts” are waging a systematic campaign against private, non-profit and for-profit colleges and universities, leveling assorted, baseless accusations, questioning their academic credentials and personally attacking many individual leaders of these schools.

 

During the Obama years, more than 700 private colleges and universities were forced to close their doors leaving tens of thousands of students stranded.

We often read incendiary comments from people such as Robert Shireman of the Century Foundation who routinely vilifies private colleges and universities. Shireman’s agenda is obvious. He openly states in forums or opinion pieces how privately run for-profit schools and many private, nonprofit schools can’t ever deliver a quality education given how they have to run a business based on a bottom line. 

Shireman states or implies that many private colleges and their leaders are unethical or predatory. These are reckless accusations from an individual who was himself the subject of a Department of Justice investigation for ethics violations and as a result, was never confirmed by the Senate for a position at the Department of Education (ED). Anyone who leaves a position within ED under an ethics cloud is hardly a credible source to criticize reputable private colleges or universities.   

Education elites such as Shireman, Pauline Abernathy of the Institute for College Access and Success, and Barmack Nassarian of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, were banking on a Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP rushes to cut ties to Moore Papadopoulos was in regular contact with Stephen Miller, helped edit Trump speech: report Bannon jokes Clinton got her ‘ass kicked’ in 2016 election MORE victory in November to continue their policy assault on private college education.

But in the wake of the Trump win and the confirmation of Education Secretary DeVos, these liberal education activists found their influence greatly diminished.

Consequently, they were forced to re-tool their negative campaigns away from implementing policy changes that would deny funding for private schools, to attacking the very integrity of private schools, the accreditation process, or individual school chancellors.

Of course one must acknowledge the occasional bad player within any service industry. No system of education — government sponsored or privately run — is perfect. 

But the fact remains there are tens of thousands of privately run colleges and universities that provide a quality education to students and perform a valuable service in our educational system. Veterans, active duty military, women, and diverse minority groups attend these schools and receive degrees that lead to good paying jobs.   

Fortunately, President Trump and Education Secretary DeVos see the real agenda behind Shireman, Abernathy and others and recognize the value of private college education. 

While the people waging these attacks on private colleges have lost much of their political clout — at least for a while — they will not stop until they shutter the doors of thousands more private schools.

President Trump and Education Secretary DeVos are to be applauded and supported for standing up to those who hope to create the ObamaCare model for higher education. 

We need choice in education, not a flawed government-controlled model that will only reduce choice for students, drive up education costs, and eventually bankrupt higher education in much the same manner as government control has brought our nation’s healthcare system to the brink of collapse.

Colin Hanna is president of Let Freedom Ring USA, Inc., a nonprofit public policy organization committed to promoting constitutional government, free enterprise and traditional values. Let Freedom Ring’s primary current project is Sunset the Tax Code. Hanna was a Chester County commissioner (1995-2003) and has appeared on MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews”; Fox News Channel’s “Hannity,” “The Glenn Beck Show,” “Special Report,” and “Fox & Friends.” 


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