By Audrey Quinn
Posting in Healthcare
Two in five young American adults remain uninsured, but nearly 7 million more young adults received coverage in 2011 due to extensions in their parents' health insurance.
Nearly two in five young American adults lacked health insurance in 2011, according to a report out today from the private health research foundation The Commonwealth Fund. That puts this uninsured blogger in sizable company.
For my peers under 26, U.S. president Obama's health insurance plan offered some relief. The Affordable Care Act pushed health insurance companies to cover employees' young adult children beginning in 2010. That added 6.6 million people to the number of those insured in 2011.
But, more than one-third of Americans ages 19 to 29 still had medical bill problems or were paying off medical debt.
The report's numbers were worse for those with low incomes. Seventy percent of young adults earning less than $14,484 annually lacked coverage at some point in the year. And, according to the report, "Only 17 percent of young adults ages 19 in low-income families stayed on or joined their parents' plans, compared with 69 percent of young adults in the highest income households."
Rob Hiltonsmith of PolicyMic points out the common perception that young people opt out of health coverage because they feel invincible. He interprets the growth in the number of insured young adults since the inception of the Affordable Care Act as a strong counterargument to that idea, and I would agree with him. I and many of my peers remain uninsured because we can't stomach the cost premiums, not out of youthful flippancy.
If the Affordable Care Act remains in its current state, 2014 should bring near universal coverage for all American young adults. While I'm wary of how much of that will force me to spend on insurance, I have to admit I'll feel a bit of relief to no longer have the option of remaining anxiously uninsured.
Graphic: The Commonwealth Fund
Jun 8, 2012
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Enhanced coverage for the youth of the UK has been paid for by the elderly. The reality is when you get too old to be a productive taxpayer in the UK your healthcare coverage goes down. Obamas own advisor, Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel, has repeatedly said the government cannot afford to cover the elderly. He led the fight to cut over $500 million in Medicare coverage in the Obamacare bill. A fight he won. Beliefs like this are not a surprise coming from the person who made uninsured patient dumping an institutional practice in Chicago during the 1980s.
When I was in my early 20s, and without health insurance, I suffered a running injury. It essentially put an end to my running. I was told years later that if I had treated the injury immediately it would have been less serious. If this injury eventually leads to loss of mobility for me, who suffers? (Besides me) Society will pay in one way or another.