Young People Find Hope in the Affordable Care Act

By Hannah Sherman, JWI Intern

You know you’re getting close to your college graduation when even the first few notes of Vitamin C’s Graduation makes you teary eyed. As a Class of 2012 student, the thought of life after college is filled with both the sense of freedom and the fear of the unknown. For many people my age, the prospect of entering the workforce in this economy is but a faint hope and more and more young people are returning to the nest, unemployed.

While there may be many uncertainties, there is one glimmer of comfort in the form of the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. According to this law, young adults can now be insured as a dependent on their parents’ health insurance if they are under age 26. In a time of such economic downturn, this law saves countless young adults from the worry of living uninsured. In a December 2011 news release, the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the Affordable Care Act helped 2.5 million additional young adults get health coverage. Not only does the law allow young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance until they turn 26, it also makes it illegal to for a plan to deny anyone coverage, regardless of pre-existing conditions.

March 23, 2012 marks the two year anniversary of this landmark legislation. As a young adult, I can personally attest to the positive and profound impact this law has on our lives, giving us one certainty to hang onto in an otherwise uncertain time. It is for this reason that I celebrate the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and its continued effect on the health and well-being of young adults.

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