After a year of exhaustive debate, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, achieving what seven Presidents have tried and failed to-do to pass comprehensive health insurance reform that will provide every American with the quality affordable health care they deserve.
As a result of health insurance reform, young people will be able to stay on their parents’ plan well into their 20s. Small businesses will be given a tax credit of up to 35% to enable them to more affordably provide health care for their employees. And insurance companies will no longer be able to take away individuals’ health insurance when they get sick, or deny them insurance as a result of a pre-existing condition.
Over the last year, the College Democrats of America worked hard to help President Obama and Democrats in Congress pass health reform. And through hundreds of events on college campuses including health care rallies, phone banks, petition drives, canvassing, health care awareness parties, press events, and other creative ideas, we rallied students across America to work towards real change.
Young people are already seeing the benefits of health care reform:
According to a [recent report] from the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that focuses on health policy, most of the 13.7 million young adults who are uninsured could gain coverage when the act goes into full force in 2014 — either through public programs like Medicaid or by buying private policies on competitive insurance exchanges established by the law.
“The affordable care act is, in many ways, a graduation gift to young adults,” said an author of the report, Sara R. Collins, a vice president at the Commonwealth Fund.
Relief will come sooner for 1.2 million young people whose parents have health coverage but who fell off family policies when they graduated from high school or college.
Beginning in late September, health insurers will be required to cover children on family health plans through age 25, and many companies are making the change now so new college graduates do not face gaps in coverage.