Our Generation, Our Healthcare

Of all the things that our generation worries about on a daily basis, health insurance should not be one of them. Whether it’s scrambling around campus trying to find a parking spot before class starts, writing that essay that was put off for a week or just trying to have a social life, we should not have to worry about whether or not getting sick will break the bank, or worse, bankrupt our parents.

However, the reality is so many of my friends worry about this mystical thing called healthcare.  Not just about having it or not having it, but also about how to go about getting it.  Fortunately we live in the age of the Affordable Care Act which means that we now have options. This is both timely and amazing news since far too many of our generation doesn’t have access to the care they need. In fact, nearly one in five young adults don’t have health insurance at all.

As the largest and most diverse generation our country has ever seen, I see it as our responsibility to make sure that we all have access to affordable healthcare. Not only is it a matter of justice, but being a part of a healthy community benefits every single one of us. Affordable and accessible health coverage ensures that we can focus our efforts and energy on our education so we can go out into the workforce and further contribute to society and the economy. We are all part of the same environment, the same work pool, the same generation that depends and thrives off one another, and it is our responsibility to ensure equity of access.

Thankfully, the Affordable Care Act comes really close to making this possible. Some have enjoyed access to healthcare through their parents’ health plans, but before ACA went into effect, many had to forfeit health coverage for a college degree.  Now, thanks to Obamacare, when we graduate we won’t have to settle or frantically find a job that will immediately offer us health insurance. Thanks to the ACA we can stay under our parents insurance until we are 26 and take the time to find the right job.

Here’s another cool ACA factoid: Whether or not women realize it, they might already be benefiting from the ACA’s birth control benefit. If women use birth control, they may have noticed that they haven’t had to pay copay in a while. That was not a student discount or magical glitch in the system. Under the ACA the full range of birth control methods is covered without copays.

So for those of you who don’t have insurance and still haven’t enrolled, you’re in luck. Right now, the open enrollment period is open until February 15, and you can access online support through http:// plannedparenthoodhealthinsurancefacts.org/.

Thanks to the ACA I know that when I inevitably come down with the finals flu I will be more worried about missing class and dealing with unsympathetic professors than whether or not I can afford to go to the doctor.

Whether or not you need insurance yourself we hope we can count on you to help others to obtain access to the affordable healthcare they need and deserve.  It’s the least we can to do to ensure our generation is doing its part to build a healthy community.


Submitted piece by Emily Witt
Sophomore, Political Science Major at California Lutheran
Published February 11, 2015