Young adults are gaining health insurance faster than expected, mostly due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
According that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that, in the first quarter of 2011, there were 900,000 fewer uninsured individuals between ages 19 and 25 than there was at the same time in 2010, the New York Times reports. Obama administration officials attribute this decrease to a provision in the law requiring that health insurance companies allow young adults to stay on their parent's health insurance plan until age 26.
Previously, the Department of Health and Human Services had projected that 650,000 uninsured would gain coverage in 2011 because of the law.
Although the provision does not formally take effect until Sept. 23, many insurers altered their policies voluntary before they were legally required to make the change.
With the rise of young adults having health insurance, the amount of all adults with health insurance increased to 78.5 percent from 77.7 percent last year, the USA Today reports. This increase comes despite difficult economic headwinds and high unemployment.
Republicans presidential candidates and members of Congress have almost universally called for the repeal of Obama's health care reform act, commonly referred to by opponents as Obamacare. When chiding the law, opponents usually point to a provision that requires all people to obtain health coverage, saying the law would be too burdensome for business and also claiming that the law is unconstitutional.
However, some parts of the law enjoy broad support, including the provision allowing young adults to stay on their parent's health plan. Republicans have shied away from answering whether they would support keeping more popular provisions intact should they have the power to overturn the law.
Federal courts have given mixed rulings on the new law. However, when the court sides against the White House, the mandatory coverage parts are usually nixed but other provisions are left intact. One court has ruled the entire bill void.
Heading into the 2012 election, President Obama and his team are trying to tout how the law has positively affected Americans. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius pointed out that the new law gives young professionals breathing room to start their own companies or join start-ups, where health insurance is often not available.
In a world where great inventors, entrepreneurs and C.E.O's can be young or old, we can't take the chance that the next Facebook will never happen because its creator took a desk job just to get health insurance, she told reporters Wednesday.