09.22.11

Obama's Good News on Health Insurance

In need of some good news, President Obama learns that one million young adults got health insurance since his controversial reform law took effect. By Eleanor Clift.

President Obama got some sorely needed good news when the National Center for Health Statistics reported that one million more young adults got health insurance in the first three months of 2011 thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

That’s the legislation that Republicans generally deride as "Obamacare," pledging to repeal it if they gain control of the Senate and win the White House in 2012.

The government statistics tell a story that so far the White House has been unable to convey, and that is the positive aspects of Obama’s health-care reform as they begin to kick in. The White House has been so skittish over the Republican attacks on the bill that Obama barely mentions it on the campaign trail.

The percentage of adults between the ages of 19 and 25 with health insurance increased to 69.6 from 66.1 in 2010.

The gain is the result of the provision that allows young people to remain on their parent’s policy until age 26. Given the fact that young people have been especially hard-hit by the recession, with their unemployment rates jumping higher than older workers, the expectation was that the number of uninsured in their age group would have risen.

Instead, it has fallen pretty substantially, demonstrating that young people are taking advantage of a critical lifeline.

You can view the full report here.