PSC President Judy Lubin attended a White House health reform meeting on Wednesday, August 26th. Led by administration officials, the meeting focused on how to engage young adults in the current health reform debate.
An August 2009 CNN/Opinion Research Poll found that young people are more likely to support President Obama’s health insurance reform plan. However, as the poll results indicate, those that oppose the plan are more likely to attend a town hall to voice their opposition.
During the meeting, Lubin advised administration officials to consider reframing the discussion, especially for young adults, by making more of an emotional appeal and emphasizing the moral imperative inherent in denying millions of Americans access to health care solely based on their inability to pay. Young people have a strong desire for equality and social change. The same ideals of change, hope and opportunity that resonated with young adults during Obama’s campaign should be used to rally them around health insurance reform, Lubin said.
One in three young adults is uninsured. While primarily framed as an issue of concern for older Americans, health insurance reform will help lower costs, provider greater choice and improve quality and affordability for both young and older Americans.
For many young adults, the cost of health insurance is simply too expensive. Young adults are often between jobs, in school, or hold part-time or temporary jobs that do not provide health care coverage. Under the White House’s plan, children and young adults would continue to be eligible for family coverage through the age of 26. This would allow young adults to remain on their parents’ health insurance policy until they are more established in their careers and more likely to receive coverage as an employment benefit.