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Students respond to BYU-I health care decision

sam ruiz
Samuel Ruiz spoke to a KIFI Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News reporter in Rexburg Tuesday.

REXBURG, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK)-Two of the Brigham Young University Idaho students who spoke out about a controversial health insurance policy say they are pleased the university reversed its policy change.

Samuel Ruiz and Esther Spencer Rivas say the decision allows thousands of students to breathe a sigh of relief. They say the sudden decision by the university not to recognize Medicaid as a health care option shocked students who could not afford options.

The university has since reinstated Medicaid as an acceptable insurance option. Many students worried they might have to drop out of school due to the high cost of other health care options.

"That is why we are so thankful the university is reversing its decision and allowing students to enroll in Medicaid again. It was a dicey two weeks for thousands of BYU-Idaho students, but ultimately the administration made the morally right decision," said Ruiz and Spencer Rivas in a joint statement.

The students also extended thanks to people who backed the students throughout the process, including the 12,000 people who signed a petition in support of students.

They concluded, "As we move towards the remaining portion of 2019 and onto a new year, we will not forget our miracle, nor the power of change through collective action. The fact that change happened in a respectful and dignified manner, let alone in a span of less than three weeks, speaks volumes to what BYU-Idaho students are capable of."

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