Andrew Whitlatch - Temple News - April 6, 2010
A provision in the health care reform bill will grant health care to children and young adults until age 26, regardless of their academic status. For soon-to-be college graduates, the health care reform bill came at an opportune time.
The new legislation will allow children and young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans until age 26, regardless of academic status. It will take four years to implement all the changes from the 2,309 pages of legislation, President Obama announced, but citizens can expect coverage for young adults to go into effect this year.
The health care reform bill, which was introduced just more than a year ago, passed with a 219-212 vote in the U.S. House of Representatives. All 178 Republicans opposed the legislation, along with 34 Democrats.
In addition to the part of legislation that aids those graduating college and entering the workforce amid a recession, the act will grant coverage to more than 32 million uninsured Americans.
Some future college grads, such as senior political science and psychology major Steve Smith, plan to take a year off to work before continuing to graduate school. Smith said he is excited for the health care reform because health insurance is far too expensive for a recent college graduate who also needs to pay off college loans. Smith also mentioned his aspirations to go to law school but said he would not be able to afford the high cost of health insurance.
According to a March 22 USA/Today Gallup poll, 58 percent of United States citizens between the ages of 18 and 34 view health care reform as “a good thing.” The survey shows that the older people are, the more likely they are to view the new legislation as a negative, showing that 54 percent of Americans 65 and older think it’s a “bad thing.” The poll said overall, 49 percent of adults in America support the bill.
“The provision allowing children to stay on their parents’ healthcare policy until age 26 is uniquely important to college students and families. In addition, our students have a base sense of fairness that compels them to support the fundamental proposition that all Americans should have access to healthcare,” Temple professor and former Philadelphia mayor John F. Street said.
Street said his students are disappointed with the small minority who violated and offended many of the senators’ civil rights during the process.
“This conduct soiled the process, but not the progress made in delivering to 32 million Americans an important component of the great American promise that all men are entitled to the unobstructed pursuit of happiness fundamental to the American dream,” he said.
Some students disagree with the historic bill’s passage.
“I don’t agree with it. I feel like it is going to increase moral hazard. People won’t think twice about going to the ER. Physicians are going to be overwhelmed with patients, which will diminish the overall quality of care to their patients,” senior risk management and insurance major Joby Georgekutty said.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the federal government is projected to spend $940 billion in the next 10 years for health care reform. The bill is also projected to cut the federal budget’s deficit by $138 billion in the same 10-year period.