Young Invincibles’ Statement on California Budget Agreement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

June 15, 2014

Contact: Riana King, riana.king@younginvincibles.org, 213.221.7326

Young Invincibles’ Statement on California Budget Agreement

Budget Falls Short on Investment in Education and Healthcare for Young Californians

[SACRAMENTO, Calif.]—Today, the California Legislature passed its version of the fiscal year 2014-2015 budget; the $108 billion budget heads to Governor Brown for the final sign off. Linda Leu, California Policy and Research Director at Young Invincibles, issued the following statement:

“We are pleased that this budget includes some important education investments for our generation, but California needs to invest more in programs that support low-income and undocumented young adults. “

“All young Californians, including low-income and undocumented young Californians deserve greater access to health care, more affordable education and help finding a job – all of which California failed to allocate adequate funding for in the budget.”

Here’s an overview of what the budget achieves for young Californians, and where it falls short:

The California FY14-15 Budget:

  • Affirms the Governor’s allocation of $50 million for a Workforce Development Program at California Community Colleges.
  • Reinvests $50 million in both the UC and Cal State systems.
  • Moderately increases the Cal Grant B Access Awards by $175 per student to help the lowest income students afford college. Students can now receive an award of $1,648 per year to help with books and living expenses. This brings the award closer to its intended value of $5,900, if it had been adjusted for inflation.

The California FY14-15 Budget fails to address:

  • The importance of access to health care to young Californians’ economic future by:

o   Rejecting a $23 million grant to expand Medi-Cal enrollment and retention efforts, so that more young Californians that qualify for coverage can sign up and stay covered.

o   Continued disinvestment in the safety net, which is needed to serve the undocumented and other remaining uninsured due to the delay of SB 1005 that would have expanded coverage for undocumented Californians.

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Young Invincibles is a national organization committed to amplifying the voices of young adults, ages 18 to 34, and expanding economic opportunity for our generation. Young Invincibles ensures that young adults are represented in today’s most pressing societal debates through cutting-edge policy research and analysis, and innovative campaigns designed to educate, inform and mobilize our generation to change the status quo.

 

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#ItsOurInterest Student Loan Video Contest

If you could potentially save hundreds on your student loans, what would you use that savings for?

Senator Warren introduced a bill that would allow student lenders to refinance their loans, lower their interest rates, and save on student loan payments. Imagine what you could do with the money you save!

We’re inviting you to tell your student debt story! Here’s how to do it:

  1. Record a short video (3 minutes max) answering the question above. Include your name, school you attended, and borrowed amount.
  2. Upload your video to YouTube or Instagram by May 28. Your video MUST include the hashtag #ItsOurInterest to qualify.
  3. Promote your video on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #ItsOurInterest.

Important dates

Submit your videos: May 15 – May 28
Voting begins: May 29 – June 5th
Winners announced: June 9th

Top three winners will receive $500!

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Young Invincibles Applauds Covered California’s Strong End to First Open Enrollment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 17, 2014

Contact: Riana King, riana.king@younginvincibles.org, 213.221.7326

Young Invincibles Applauds Covered California’s Strong End to First Open Enrollment

Young Adult Enrollment in Covered California Health Plans and Medi-Cal Greatly Exceeds Expectations

[LOS ANGELES, CA]—Today Covered California announced that over 3.3 million Californians have gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Nearly 1.4 million have enrolled in private health plans and over 1.9 million in Medi-Cal. With this final surge over the past few weeks, young Californians ages 18 to 34 represent 29 percent of private plan enrollees and 36 percent of those who gained free Medi-Cal coverage.

“We are thrilled with the tremendous outreach and enrollment effort on the part of Covered California and all of our community partners to help over 1 million young adults enroll in coverage,” said Linda Leu, California Research and Policy Director at Young Invincibles. “This new access to health insurance provides critical economic security for young people struggling to pay rent, start careers, and manage student debt.”

“This isn’t the end of enrollment for young Californians. Medi-Cal enrollment is open year round, and as outlined in our new report, young people are more likely than any other age group to qualify for special enrollment periods triggered by life events like graduating, having a baby, and getting married. Young Invincibles looks forward to working with Covered California and our partners to ensure that young people are informed of these ongoing opportunities.”

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Young Invincibles is a national organization committed to amplifying the voices of young adults, ages 18 to 34, and expanding economic opportunity for our generation. Young Invincibles ensures that young adults are represented in today’s most pressing societal debates through cutting-edge policy research and analysis, and innovative campaigns designed to educate, inform and mobilize our generation to change the status quo.

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New State Report Cards Give California Mixed Grades in Higher Education

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 13, 2014

Contact: Jessie Kim, jessie.kim@younginvincibles.org213.221.7326

New State Report Cards Give California Mixed Grades in Higher Education

Students to Convene This Saturday to Address California’s Failings In Higher Education

[LOS ANGELES]—Tuition at California colleges and universities ranks second worst in the nation and has doubled in the past five years, in part because state budget support for higher education has dropped by double digits.  The good news is California’s need-based aid per student ranks fourth highest in America.

That’s all according to 50 state report cards released today by Young Invincibles. California scored failing grades for tuition, spending per student, and education as a state priority, but received high marks for its state financial aid system. The report cards grade every state based on recent and current budget support for higher education.

“California has amazing public higher education institutions, but declining state support is jeopardizing the students who make them great,” said Tamika Butler, California Director of Young Invincibles.  “An educated workforce is critical to advancing California’s economic interests, so we’re teaching students how to shape the policies that affect their future.”

Student Impact Project is a Young Invincibles initiative that empowers student activists to more effectively advocate for state policies that support college access, affordability, and success.

This Saturday, in Los Angeles, students will share personal stories and discuss strategies to address California’s emerging higher education funding crisis, as well as the connections between race, class, inequity and the cost of higher education.

WHO:   Kimberly Freeman, UCLA Anderson Assistant Dean for Diversity Initiatives an Community Relations; Nadia Valliani, Policy and Research Analyst with Campaign for College Opportunity; Brooke Scott, UCLA student activist; UC, CSU, and Community College students
WHAT:   Convening on California Higher Education Funding
WHERE:   308 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA, UCLA Ackerman Union, Room 3508
WHEN:   Saturday, March 15, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information on our methodology, or to see California’s State Report card and how it compares to other states, visit studentimpactproject.org.

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Young Invincibles is a national organization committed to amplifying the voices of young adults, ages 18 to 34, and expanding economic opportunity for our generation. Young Invincibles ensures that young adults are represented in today’s most pressing societal debates through cutting-edge policy research and analysis, and innovative campaigns designed to educate, inform and mobilize our generation to change the status quo.

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Young Invincibles’ Statement on Covered California’s February Enrollment Numbers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 13, 2014

Contact: Riana King, riana.king@younginvincibles.org, 213.221.7326

Young Invincibles’ Statement on Covered California’s February Enrollment Numbers

According to Covered California’s Report, Young Adult Enrollment in Private Health Plans and Medi-Cal Continues to Grow

[LOS ANGELES, CA]—Today Covered California announced that over 3 million Californians have gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act, nearly 1 million have enrolled in private health plans at the Countdown to History celebration in Los Angeles. Young Californians ages 18 to 34 represent 26.5 percent of private plan enrollees and 35 percent of those who gained free Medi-Cal coverage.

“We were excited to partner with Covered California for Countdown to History and take part in an event with leaders like Dolores Huerta. We are encouraged by the upward trend in young adult enrollment and are thrilled to see even more young Californians who could not previously afford coverage gaining free coverage through Medi-Cal,” said Tamika Butler, California Director at Young Invincibles. “We look forward to continuing our work and seeing these numbers increase during the final weeks of open enrollment.”

Young Invincibles recently launched the Healthy Young America Mobile App Sweepstakes in an effort to spread the word on the financial assistance available under the law and the March 31st deadline to enroll. By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants could win $1,200, about the average cost of health coverage for an uninsured young adult on the new Health Insurance Marketplace.

The Healthy Young America mobile application is available on the iTunes and Google Play stores. For more information, please visit app.healthyyoungamerica.org. No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win. Odds of winning will depend on the number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited by law. Click here to view the Official Rules prior to entry.

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Young Invincibles is a national organization committed to amplifying the voices of young adults, ages 18 to 34, and expanding economic opportunity for our generation. Young Invincibles ensures that young adults are represented in today’s most pressing societal debates through cutting-edge policy research and analysis, and innovative campaigns designed to educate, inform and mobilize our generation to change the status quo.

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Young Invincibles’ Statement on Covered California’s 2013 Enrollment Numbers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

January 14, 2014

Contact: Riana King, riana.king@younginvincibles.org, 213.221.7326

Young Invincibles’ Statement on Covered California’s 2013 Enrollment Numbers

According to Covered California’s New Report, One in Four Enrollees are Between the Ages of 18 to 34

[SACRAMENTO, Calif.]- According to a report from Covered California, young Californians continue to enthusiastically sign up for health care coverage. 32 percent of private insurance enrollees in California are under the age of 35, and 25 percent of enrollees are between the ages of 18 and 34.

Linda Leu, California Policy and Research Director at Young Invincibles, released the following statement on today’s announcement:

“Today Covered California announced that over 500,000 Californians successfully enrolled by the end of 2013. With 28 percent of young Californians lacking insurance, we are especially excited that over 125,000 of enrollees are between the ages of 18 and 34, proving that young adults are engaged and excited about their new options under the Affordable Care Act.

In Massachusetts’ enrollment experience, we saw a sharp increase in the number of young adult sign-ups near the end of the enrollment period. With young Californians representing 25 percent of those who gained coverage, we are seeing the beginnings of this upward trend in youth enrollment in California. We’re excited to build on this momentum as we continue our outreach and education efforts in the months ahead.”

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Young Invincibles is a national organization committed to amplifying the voices of young adults, ages 18 to 34, and expanding economic opportunity for our generation. Young Invincibles ensures that young adults are represented in today’s most pressing societal debates through cutting-edge policy research and analysis, and innovative campaigns designed to educate, inform and mobilize our generation to change the status quo.

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Young Invincibles’ Statement on Governor Brown’s 2014 Budget Proposal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

January 9, 2014

Contact: Riana King, riana.king@younginvincibles.org, 213.221.7326

Young Invincibles’ Statement on Governor Brown’s 2014 Budget Proposal

Proposed Budget Invests Greatly in Higher Education, but Leaves Unemployed Youth Behind 

 [LOS ANGELES, Calif.]—Today, Governor Jerry Brown released his proposal for the 2014 California budget. Young Invincibles is excited that the Governor called for a $26.3 billion investment in higher education and allocated funds to keep college tuition and costs from rising. While these proposed investments brighten the higher education future of young adults throughout the state, the Governor’s proposal failed to outline investments in remaining uninsured and unemployed Californians.

Linda Leu, California Policy and Research Director at Young Invincibles, released the following statement on the Governor’s proposal:

“We are encouraged by the outlined increases in funding to the California college system that will help reverse dismal trends in California’s higher education spending. However, we are disappointed that the Governor did not fully address vital employment crisis that young Californians face.

As we discovered in our new report, “In this Together,” high youth unemployment effectively costs each California taxpayer $66.26 annually in both federal and state taxes. By making a greater investment in CalWORKs and other programs that prepare and support young adults to make positive contributions to the state’s economy, Governor Brown would be investing not only in affected young adults, but all Californians.”

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Young Invincibles is a national organization committed to amplifying the voices of young adults, ages 18 to 34, and expanding economic opportunity for our generation. Young Invincibles ensures that young adults are represented in today’s most pressing societal debates through cutting-edge policy research and analysis, and innovative campaigns designed to educate, inform and mobilize our generation to change the status quo.

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Affording College

By Joshua Bloom

 My parents didn’t go to college. Neither did their parents. When it came time for me to decide what I would be doing after High School, I really had no idea. “I guess I’ll apply,” I would say. I mean, after all, I had exceptional grades. Counselors were in my ear feeding me glorious fairytales ending with full-ride scholarships, Ivy League schools, and dream jobs. I wasn’t really concerned with all that. I was too busy trying to chase girls and play ball.

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Still, when it came down to it, I applied for a bunch of UC’s, CSU’s and private schools and figured I’d try this college thing out. For me, applying to college was just something everyone told me I should do. My sister did it the year before me, and I was already hearing crazy stories about college life. It wasn’t until I actually went on a college tour that I actually began envisioning myself on a college campus. I became infatuated with the bubble that was “student life.” Everyone I met was so focused and yet so very terrified by the idea of being on their own.

I ended up choosing the University of California, Santa Cruz. I applied for a few scholarships, and received a REALLY good financial aid award letter, since my family did not have much money. My first two years were rough, and I needed a lot of support from family and friends. I struggled to find my identity and my voice as a mixed-race-politically radical-hip-hopper navigating a mostly white, neo-liberal space. It was definitely challenging.

Back home, things could not be going better. My father, who was a painter, had started his own business, which was really starting to pick up. Unfortunately, this impacted my financial aid award, and my Expected Family Contribution (EFC) toward the cost of school increased to a level that was completely unreasonable for my family to pay. We went back and forth with the Financial Aid office, but when it came down to it, my family was faced with a decision: Either take out private loans, or pull me or my sister out of school for awhile.

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I was already utilizing the work-study program, but decided to apply to become an RA on campus (which held about a $10,000 per year value in room and board). I realized that this was the only option, and the only way my family could really afford to keep me and my sister in school. So while all my other friends were doing study abroad programs and amazing internships for their last two years, I was organizing ice cream socials and sex ed workshops—plus political actions and hip-hop concerts on the side. Not exactly what I had in mind, but given the tremendous privilege I had been afforded to even BE a college student, I was honored to have the option. I come from a low-income community and it’s tough to figure out any way to make college seem like a realistic possibility when the cost is so high. Most of my friends from high-school didn’t make it there at all.

This is why I care so much about Young Invincibles work to make college an affordable reality. Too many people don’t have the opportunities I had and that has to change. Learn more about YI’s work on college affordability here and take action here.

 

 

 

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Young Invincibles’ Statement on Covered California’s November Enrollment Numbers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

December 12, 2013

Contact: Riana King, riana.king@younginvincibles.org, 213-221-7326

Young Invincibles’ Statement on Covered California’s November Enrollment Numbers

Since October 1st, Over 100,000 Californians Have Successfully Enrolled In Covered California Health Insurance Plans

 [SACRAMENTO, Calif.]- According to a report from Covered California, Californians continue to enthusiastically sign up for health care coverage with 109,296 Californians already enrolled in private health plans that are set to begin coverage in January 2014. Over 20,000 of those enrolled are young adults between the ages of 18 and 34.

Linda Leu, California Policy and Research Director at Young Invincibles, released the following statement on today’s announcement:

“We are excited that young adults are continuing to enroll in new health care coverage options in numbers roughly proportional to our share of the population. With over 20,000 young Californians now covered, we plan to build on this early momentum as we continue our outreach efforts before the December deadline for coverage beginning on January 1st.”

“Young adults are disproportionately uninsured, and with 28% of young Californians still lacking insurance we look forward to partnering with Covered California to ensure that all young adults in California have the opportunity to achieve health and financial security. Young Invincibles is excited to continue our work and to see more progress in the remaining months of open enrollment.”

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 Young Invincibles is a national organization committed to amplifying the voices of young adults, ages 18 to 34, and expanding economic opportunity for our generation. Young Invincibles ensures that young adults are represented in today’s most pressing societal debates through cutting-edge policy research and analysis, and innovative campaigns designed to educate, inform and mobilize our generation to change the status quo.

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Guest Post: Pre-Existing Conditions and Peace of Mind

By Vivian Nguyen

I graduated from UC Berkeley in May of 2013 and like many other 22 year-olds, I didn’t have a full-time job with health benefits right away. While I gained valuable work experience through a summer internship, I was only paid a stipend that didn’t comfortably cover my living expenses plus the cost of a monthly health premium.

However, thanks to a key provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that allows dependents up to age 26 to stay on their parent’s insurance policy, I am one of 435,000 young adults in California who now has health coverage. Prior to Obamacare, young adults got kicked off their parents’ health insurance much earlier than 26. So it’s no surprise that my age group, young adults 18-34 year olds, is the group that has been most likely to be uninsured.

Given my post-college financial situation, I’m almost certain that I would’ve had to make the tough choice between paying rent and paying for insurance. But thanks to the ACA, I was able to stay on my family’s plan and avoid this difficult decision.

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Personally, having insurance gives me peace of mind because risky situations could happen at any time. For instance, when I was 16, I discovered that I had a congenital heart condition known as atrial septal defect. In my particular case, the condition could only be corrected through open-heart surgery. I was extremely lucky because my health insurance was able to cover the costs of the surgery plus the costs of an annual check-up with my cardiologist, which I still get every year. Most importantly, not having to worry about my coverage this past summer allowed me to focus on other important aspects of my life, like networking through my internship and eventually securing that full-time job with health benefits.

There’s a perception that young adults believe that they are “invincible.” But risky situations and accidents aren’t selective – they can happen to anyone at anytime. If anything, having insurance only enhances your invincibility. And thanks to Obamacare, being insured and being invincible no longer have to be mutually exclusive for the majority of young adults in our country. It’s true for me and it can be true for you too.

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Vivian Nguyen is the Strategic Communications Coordinator for California Family Health Council.  She is a graduate of UC Berkeley and is passionate about sexual and reproductive health access. Vivian enjoys café hopping, running and quoting “Arrested Development.”

 

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