Young adults, long the group most likely to be uninsured, are gaining health coverage faster than expected since the 2010 health law began allowing parents to cover them as dependents on family policies.
Three new surveys, including two released on Wednesday, show that adults under 26 made significant and unique gains in insurance coverage in 2010 and the first half of 2011. One of them, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, estimates that in the first quarter of 2011 there were 900,000 fewer uninsured adults in the 19-to-25 age bracket than in 2010.
This was despite deep hardship imposed by the recession, which has left young adults unemployed at nearly double the rate of older Americans, with incomes sliding far faster than the national average.
The Obama administration, intent on showcasing the benefits of a law that has been pilloried by Republicans, attributes the improvement to a provision of the Affordable Care Act that permits parents to cover dependents up to their 26th birthdays. Until that measure took effect one year ago this week, children typically had to roll off their parents’ family policies at 18 or 21 or when they left college.
Remember, young people: Michele “repeal Obamacare!” Bachmann would rather you went without insurance. Unless you’re gay, in which case feel free to visit her “doctor” husband, who will pray the gay away.