KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Young Adults Have More To Gain, And Pay, In Health Reform

Young adults – a key constituency in President Obama's election – are likely to be major beneficiaries of health reform, as well as major contributors to funding it, the Washington Post reports. The benefit is that reform proposals would help make cheaper individual insurance policies available on the individual market to many young, would-be consumers who don't have access to such plans now. The cost is that a new mandate would force the ten million or more uninsured young adults who "bet on their good health" by going without insurance to pony up for plans.

"Depending on how Congress requires insurers to price their policies, this group could even wind up paying disproportionately hefty premiums -- effectively subsidizing coverage for their parents," the Post reports. Young adults can expect to face significant new expenses, Mark McClellan, a Brookings Institution scholar and former Bush administration official told the Post. "'It's important for people to know what they're getting into,'" he said. Still, about 52 percent of young adults support the new mandate, and 60 percent of under-30s support the Democrat proposed reforms (Murray, 9/16).

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