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Why My Generation Supports the Health Care Law

Huffington Post

29 March 2012 - Original Source

Rory O'Sullivan of the Young Invincibles contributed this piece to the Huffington Post which examined young people's increasing support of the Affordable Care Act and how it has helped over 2.5 million young Americans get health insurance since its passing. Young Invincibles is currently embarking on a nationwide tour of meetings designed to give a voice to youth to identify ways of reforming the economy and health care called the "Campaign for Young America."

By Rory O'Sullivan

This week, the Supreme Court heard arguments over the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The legislation's challengers frequently trotted out examples of healthy young people to show that the law forces individuals to buy insurance who don't "need" it. But this caricature of our generation ignores reality. That's why Young Invincibles wrote an amicus brief to ensure that the Supreme Court had the facts. The truth is that if the ACA disappears, so will health insurance for millions of young Americans.

Already, over 2.5 million young people have joined their parents' insurance plan. In the years ahead, the ACA will vastly expand coverage for millions more uninsured and under-insured young adults. About eight million currently uninsured young Americans will qualify for Medicaid, and another nine million will be eligible for subsidies to help them purchase insurance. Rolling back the health care law would kick millions off their parents' insurance and eliminate the promise of coverage for millions more.

It's hard to underestimate the benefits of these reforms. Right now, nearly one in three young Americans lacks health coverage, leading to a variety of problems. Faced with high costs, uninsured young adults often avoid needed care, making them less healthy as a result. And, make no mistake, young people do get sick. Nearly one in six young Americans has a chronic condition a