Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Do young adults care about health care?

I remember growing up having my parents take me to the dentist every 6 months and seeing the doctor every two years. I'm 24 now and haven't had that privilege since I graduated from UCLA 2.5 years ago.

I would think that a degree from UCLA and having a traditional upbringing in a Filipino household would teach me how to be more responsible in the real world. But this is a reality that many recent graduates face; not understanding health care.

Check out this article from The Sacramento Bee about what college grads face once they lose insurance...

This issue also brings another issue at hand. How much do people, educated or not, understand or care about in our current health care system?

Lately I've been following issues in the health care debate. Why isn't it affordable? What will people lose in this new health care reform? What will people benefit from this health care reform? And, most importantly, how can communities better understand what health care means to them?

In an ideal world people will talk about this. They will analyze it and they will advocate for their beliefs. Unfortunately, a good chunk of the uninsured population are in the 18-29 age range. And, a lot don’t know much about health care. If you have read the article I set a link to above, readers have left interesting comments regarding their take on young people not understanding healthcare. Some of the comments amaze me but make sense to a degree...

"Sorry, but, considering the fact that the majority of our society is overweight/obese and/or has some preventable chronic disease (due to smoking, drinking, not exercisizing, poor eating habits), I just have very little sympathy for this situation. Stop thinking that society owes you something; go out and earn for yourself. You'll actually appreciate what you have."


"The reason this is a story is that young people don’t use ins. The premium goes to those unhealthy people that do use the system. Sure they have the highest rate visits to the emergency room."

I get it, but who in their 20s know exactly how to take care of themselves? And how many people (of all ages) go out of their way to understand steps to (good) health care, much less health care in our economic and national crises?

As the health care debate heats up around our nation, it makes me wonder who in our nation has the most impact in changing the health care system. People like me I guess.

My thoughts…

  1. As a post grad who has a good future ahead for myself, I still grapple with understanding the health care system. (I’m still young and naïve. I learn best through growing pains like this.)

  2. If people my age could begin to question their status as far as health care is concerned, maybe it can further develop their understanding of what role they play in the health care system…
  3. …hence leading up to people actually advocating for a better health care system for themselves and even more, for their communities.


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