Health affordability key for young adults

Sept. 16, 2009 at 8:09 AM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Affordability will be a key issue for healthy young adults who would be forced to buy subsidized health insurance under U.S. reform proposals, analysts say.

The participation of such young people is a vital element in healthcare reform proposals now being considered by the Senate Finance Committee because they would be counted on as low-cost additions to insurance pools, diluting the expenses of covering older and sicker Americans. But critics wonder if the premiums they will be mandated to pay -- even though heavily subsidized -- will be affordable enough for young people struggling to repay students loans, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Some Democrats, such as Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, D-W.Va., are complaining that tax credits being offered under the current proposals are not big enough.

Even though young adults make up the core of support for President Barack Obama, he has yet to publicly address their affordability concerns, Heather Smith, executive director of Rock the Vote, a non-profit group aimed at drawing young people into the political process, told the newspaper.

"He needs to talk to them," she said. "Writ large, they are struggling; they are the uninsured."

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