Another Reason We Care About Healthcare Reform

By Guest Columnist Sep 28, 2009

Written by Jamilah King, this post originally appeared on WireTap. Here’s another ‘why’ young people really do care about healthcare reform. This week, 22-year-old recent Miami University of Ohio grad Kimberly Young died from complications of the H1M1 virus. While a lot of the "swine flu" hysteria has centered on an uncontrollable disease that hits patients before they get a chance to get help, Young knew immediately to go to a hospital. Except she didn’t — because she didn’t have health insurance. Young became sick about two weeks ago. Like many uninsured young folks, she tried to stick it out until this past Tuesday, when friends rushed her to University of Cincinnati hospital in critical condition. She died later that night.
A post over at Think Progress cited a recent Campus Progress story:

In its 2008 study, the Commonwealth Fund found that 66 percent of young adults aged 19 to 29 who experienced a time without coverage in the past year said they had gone without it because of the cost. […] Young people might have a better chance of accessing comprehensive coverage if there were a public plan, which could lower the cost of insurance, particularly for those without good employer benefits. Young people may also have a better chance at coverage if there were generous subsidies for lower-income individuals, as many take lower-paying jobs when they first enter the workforce.

Young was active in student organizing on her campus and, ironically, lived in Minority Leader John Boehner’s congressional district. Boehner has been an outspoken opponent of the public option.