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Why Health Care Reform Matters For Young People | The Nation

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Why Health Care Reform Matters For Young People

Right after the passage of the Affordable Care Act in March, 20 state attorney generals teamed up to challenge health care reform in federal court, on the grounds that mandating coverage for everyone violates individual rights.

Earlier this month, Young Invincibles, an advocacy group devoted to promoting young people’s interests in the health care debate, filed an amicus brief challenging the lawsuit.

Young Invincibles describes itself as a group that “provides a voice for young adults in a policy process that too-often excluded young adults.” Their name is a jab at the myth that young people are healthy and don’t really need coverage:

The cultural myth of the “young invincibles” rests on the mistaken inference that young adults do not have health insurance by choice. However, young adults have reduced access to the most common form of coverage, employer-provided insurance, and are priced out of individual insurance. As a result, young adults remain uninsured in much higher numbers than older Americans not by choice, but due to circumstance.

In the brief, the group makes the case for why health care reform is crucial for young people in particular: it will make more affordable care accessible to an otherwise vulnerable and under-covered demographic. They also argue that uninsured young people put off getting medical help until the point where they’re facing more serious health conditions that cost more time and resources to fix—in short, that the whole country can save money by thinking preventatively and covering everyone before they get sick.

Clocking in at a humble 15 pages, the brief is worth a read if you’re under 35 and asking yourself what you actually stand to gain from health care reform, and why it matters for the long-term collective financial health of our generation on the whole.

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