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Health Insurance San Diego State University Question & Answers

2013 August 15
by Sarah Fields

Laura asks…

Why are people complaining about things costing more now than they did 10 years ago?

Stop moaning and complaining and start living below your means and save more money. I copy and paste from Yahoo!

10 Items Whose Prices Have Jumped the Most in the Past 10 Years
By Lisa Scherzer

PostsEmailBy Lisa Scherzer | The Exchange – Thu, Jun 6, 2013 4:04 PM EDT
You’re paying about 100% more to put a gallon of gas in your car today than you did 10 years ago, and 145% more to heat your home. Ouch.

Gasoline expenditures for the average household in 2012 reached $2,912, or just under 4% of income, according to the Energy Information Administration. That was the highest estimated percentage spent on gas in nearly three decades, except for 2008.

Other items and services tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index have seen steep price increases over the past decade, as well. The price for all items included in the CPI went up by about 26% over this time period, but for some things, the change was significantly greater.

In order to see which rose the most, we looked at a variety of sub-indexes in the CPI and calculated their change from the beginning of 2003 until April 2013. Here are the top 10, along with some perspective on what’s behind their increases.

1. Fuel oil and other fuels (for home): 145%
2. Gasoline (all types) for cars: 108%

In 2003 you paid about $1.58 (the same as $2 today) for a gallon of gas, according to Earlier this year it was $3.70. The past few years have been volatile for oil prices, with record highs set in 2008. The price of crude is by far the most important factor in what consumers pay for gas and fuel oil, says James D. Hamilton, economics professor at University of California, San Diego. Since 2005 there have been only modest increases in the amount of crude produced worldwide, while demand from China, India and other emerging economies has grown enormously. “That imbalance drove up the price of crude oil, and with it the cost Americans pay for products like gasoline and heating oil,” Hamilton says.

3. College tuition: 88%

The cost of higher education has been the target of criticism for some time now, as student debt leaves graduates unable to pay off their loans. State and local spending on public institutions has fallen every year over the past decade, dropping from 70.7% of schools’ total revenue in 2000 to 57.1% in 2011, according to a 2012 report published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

When state appropriations decrease, colleges have three main options for replacing the lost revenue: increasing tuition, shifting enrollment to out-of-state residents who pay more, and cutting enrollment so each student has the same size slice of the smaller pie of state funding, says Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of, a network of web sites about planning and paying for college. “Usually colleges pursue a combination of these options,” he says. An extreme example is the University of California, which charged $11,160 in tuition to out-of-state residents last year, an increase of more than 150% from what students paid 10 years earlier, when it was $4,411 in today’s dollars.

4. Hospital services: 85%

While the cost of many medical-care services, including physicians’ services (33%) and dental services (50%), has climbed since 2003, BLS data indicate hospital services jumped the most. (The BLS defines hospital services as out-of-pocket expenses covered by health insurance billed by the hospital for accommodation, inpatient and outpatient services.)

David Parsely, an economics and finance professor at Vanderbilt University, noted that prices are higher in large part because hospital services today are vastly better than they were 10 years ago in terms of diagnoses, treatment and equipment. Indeed, the Kaiser Family Foundation says one of the major factors in the growth of health-care costs has been spending on new technologies, which “generate demand for more intense, costly services even if they are not necessarily cost-effective.”

5. College textbooks: 83%

Along with tuition, paying for college textbooks is a budget drainer for students. A post published last year by Mark J. Perry, economics professor at The University of Michigan-Flint and a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, noted that the price of books surged a staggering 812% from 1978 to 2012, sometimes costing $200 to $300 each.

“Unnecessary new editions, expensive bundles and e-books that expire are common publishing industry tactics that further increase costs for students,” according to CALPIRG, a California consumer group.

6. Elementary and high school tuition and fees: 67%

Sarah Fields answers:

Actually they should not complain at all because the value of money has also raised and the people are also getting more salary.the high prices are due to the development in the technology.
The people should always accept the change

Susan asks…

the cia has been dealing drugs for years. how about we legalize this and have them fund health care for?

the elderly and people with pre existing conditions at the same level that politicians get free??if they do it to get information why shouldn’t it go to health insurance?

Sarah Fields answers:


You’ll get a lot of people with strong feelings on this subject. I don’t understand why people think this would result in more addiction. I’d like to see some statistics from other countries, etc.

Undercover police just busted a ring of drug dealers – college kids who go to San Diego State University. SEVENTY-FIVE OF THEM who’re all connected. The black market makes all kinds of money off of it. The cost in law enforcement must be ENORMOUS.

A lot of people don’t really think before they answer these questions. A lot of kids get hooked on drugs because they like the idea of doing something illegal. If you take the “thrill” out of it, I think it would be less appealing.

For people who think that having drugs be illegal makes them harder to get – think about the SDSU story above.

If we sell it, we control the market for it. We make the price really low so that it’s no longer attractive for the black market. Then they have less money to thrive.

The one downside I can see is that legality infers morality. That’s the part that is “sticky” for me.

Nancy asks…

University of California Riverside or Irvine?

I have applied to UC Riverside, UC Merced, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, and San Diego State University. I got admitted to all except UCSD (weeps quietly) and I’m on the waiting list for Irvine (hallelujah!).

I want to major in psychology and I’ve narrowed down my choices to UCR and UCI. UC Merced is simply too far and I’m undecided on SDSU.

My aunt lives in San Bernardino so housing will be free. However I might live on campus if I go to Irvine and the thing is, I have to be a full-time student in order to keep my health insurance (but I turn 18 during college). Therefore I can’t get a job and I rely on my parent’s income (as well as FAFSA) my mom recently has been forced to have a part-time job (full-time before) due to a company change.

So I’m having trouble on making a decision based on convenience. Riverside for free-living cost or Irvine, just because I hear it’s better? What is your opinion on both schools?

AND: I’ve been looking on admission rates and rank on both schools and Riverside has the higher admit rate (80%, Irvine 44%) so I’m thinking, they’ll accept anyone? Would I make the wrong decision if I go there? I haven’t toured Irvine’s campus yet

Sarah Fields answers:

Irvine is a much better school than Riverside. However, I have read that if a student accepts an offer from one UC, s/he is automatically removed from the waiting list at all other UCs. You may want to verify this info with the UC system.

However, you have to accept a definite offer before its deadline or you will not have anywhere to go.

It is possible to transfer from Riverside to Irvine. My nephew did so two years ago after his sophomore year. Riverside is certainly a much better college than SDSU.

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