Affordable Care Act, healthcare, Obamacare — November 29, 2016 at 12:10 pm

Young adults want health insurance too, says 25-year-old Obamacare supporter


He and his friends care about protecting the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — and their health.

Alex King knows that without the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, he wouldn’t have any health insurance. Because he just turned 25, he can stay on his parents’ insurance plan until he turns 26, one of the provisions of the ACA. After his 26th birthday, he’ll still be able to buy insurance, even though he has two pre-existing conditions: asthma and anxiety issues.

King has every intention of buying his own insurance after he turns 26, because he knows how important it is to have coverage.

Having access to healthcare is pretty much required for conditions like asthma and anxiety, and I need to see a doctor pretty regularly. I’ll be looking at the Health Insurance Marketplace after I turn 26 — if it still exists.

The reason King questions the future of the marketplace is because of Donald Trump’s campaign promises to repeal the ACA. Although Trump has backpedaled already, both he and Congress continue to threaten to dismantle major portions of the ACA.

“It does sound like Donald Trump will be supporting the provision that young people can stay on their parents’ plans,” King says. “Beyond that, we’ll have to see.”

Despite the persistent myth that young people wouldn’t sign up for insurance under the ACA — which is part of the law’s design, to help balance out the cost of older, less healthy people signing up for coverage — King and many of his friends believe in the ACA.

I have a lot of friends that are relying on the ACA in different ways. Some who are older than 26 are probably on ACA plans. And I have friends on their parents’ plans as well. This definitely affects their lives and well-being. So they’re cautious about the new administration — and about their health. We talk about healthy lives and keep in touch about health issues.

King, who has spent much of his career so far in public service — some of which helped him pay off his student loan debt — is currently looking for a job, having just finished with a 2016 campaign position. His experience has shown him first-hand how important the ACA is, not just to him but to others.

I don’t consider myself vulnerable anymore because I’m not carrying a mountain of student loan debt. But there are so many low-income Americans who now have healthcare — alter that equation and it can alter their level of happiness, their outcome on jobs and fundamentally change the direction of their lives. It would be morally and fiscally irresponsible to cut over 20 million Americans off of guaranteed health insurance.

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[Photo courtesy of Alex King, at left, on a trip to Rome to sing at the Vatican in front of Pope Francis.]