Cost-Benefit Analysis of American Health Care Act’s Impact on Young Adults

By Tom Allison, Deputy Director of Policy and Research 

Despite media narratives that young adults would benefit from lower costs under the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the legislation would actually cost billions for this age group. While the bill makes changes across the health insurance system, three groups of young people would be particularly impacted, totaling 17 million 18-29 year-olds:

  • Those currently buying insurance on the individual market;
  • Low-income people currently enrolled in Medicaid;
  • Currently uninsured young people making future decisions about their coverage.   

In order to analyze the AHCA’s impact on young people, we reviewed how changes to the tax structure, cuts to Medicaid and phase out of Medicaid expansion, surcharges to young adults who do not maintain continuous coverage, and an elimination of cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) all negatively impact young adults trying to afford health insurance.  We found that of these 17 million young adults most directly impacted, nearly 10 million, or about 58 percent, would pay a total of at least $23 billion more for health insurance annually – or $2,400 per person (Table 1).

This number is likely an underestimate, as our analysis does not include increased costs that many young people may face due to shifts to plans with higher deductibles, changes in essential health benefits, or discriminatory premiums that may result from the MacArthur amendment.  Given that the most recent enrollment report for which we have age and metal type selections data shows that more than three in four young adults (76 percent) shopping on the federal marketplace selected health plans with actuarial values above 70 percent, the expected reductions in availability of higher quality plans likely means that even those who see lower premiums will see higher out of pocket costs, an effect not captured in our analysis.

Table 1 V3


Part of the reason why young adults would lose under the AHCA is the way the bill structures tax credits to help people buy insurance. These tax credits replace the subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which used a sliding scale based on income and cover a portion of the cost of health insurance premiums. The tax credit in the AHCA for young adults is a flat $2,000 benefit for individuals earning below $75,000, regardless of where you live or how expensive health insurance costs in your market.

This change specifically hurts low-income young adults (who on average earn lower incomes than older workers) by, in many cases, cutting tax credits to help pay for premiums as well as eliminating the cost-sharing reductions that offset out of pocket costs and deductibles.  In order to calculate how AHCA-tax credits (combined with changes in age rating) compare to existing ACA tax credits, we used CBO’s estimate of premium changes by the year 2026 at different poverty levels, the impact of age rating across this age cohort, and the CBO’s valuation of cost-sharing reductions.  We then adjusted for the declining purchasing power of AHCA tax credits using CMS premium projections, and assumed that a share of the population would be hit with the continuous coverage provision, or Millennial Penalty, based on existing research on coverage gaps for young people.

We found that low- and moderate-income young individuals would pay more under the AHCA than under current law, ultimately impacting 4.4 million young people, and harming the lowest-income young people the most.  As an example, Table 2 shows how a 27-year old earning $27,000 per year would pay $1,900 more in insurance costs for lower quality coverage under the AHCA. If that 27-year old is one of the millions of young adults who experience a lapse in coverage throughout the year, they can expect to pay $3,100 more per year in insurance costs. But a 27-year-old earning $75,000 would pay between $1,900 and $3,100 less under the AHCA, depending on whether they are hit by the continuous coverage provision.  A 27-year-old earning $95,000 would pay $700 and $2,000 less in premiums, though also see increased out-of-pocket expenses and receive a lower quality plan.

Table 2 V3


About half of those negatively impacted are the 5 million young adults who would lose Medicaid coverage (Table 3). We calculate these coverage losses by assuming that the proportion of young people who lose coverage under the CBO’s analysis of Medicaid coverage losses is the same as the proportion of current Medicaid enrollees.  We then take into account the removal of coverage options for young people who are not currently enrolled in Medicaid but could have been if their state had expanded Medicaid in the future, an option that AHCA removes.

These deep coverage losses are not surprising: about 3.8 million young people have gained Medicaid coverage in the past half decade, representing one of the most important ways the ACA has impacted Millennials.

Table 3 V3


The AHCA would be a financial disaster for millions of young adults under the age of 30: nearly 10 million lower-income young adults could lose up to $23 billion. The 7 million higher-income young adults who might see lower premiums under the AHCA could save in premiums costs, but will also receive lower quality coverage and higher out-of-pocket costs. This results in an annual net loss of $11 billion for the Millennial generation.

This conservative evaluation of the law’s financial impact does not include diminished value of coverage from removing required essential benefits, increased deductibles, or unintended consequences from removing millions of people from Medicaid. Even without measuring that impact, we see that the AHCA results in skyrocketing costs for the lowest income young adults, while shifting small benefits to higher earners. There are smarter, more cost-effective methods Congress should pursue to improve young adults’ access to quality and affordable health insurance. We urge the nation’s lawmakers to go back to the drawing board and discard the fundamentally flawed AHCA.


In their scoring of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected insurance premiums and credits for specific ages and at two different income brackets. Using the CBO’s assumptions and incorporating the effects from other changes the AHCA makes to the health insurance market, Young Invincibles conducted a cost-benefit analysis of the effects of the legislation on the cost of health insurance for young adults. In brief, we estimate the change in health insurance costs for every year of age between 18 and 29 years-old, along relevant income-to-poverty thresholds. We then used Census data to estimate the number of young adults, at each age, either eligible for Medicaid or currently on the individual market for health insurance.  Other assumptions include:

CBO estimates of premiums – Our analysis relied on CBO’s projections of an earlier version of the bill than what passed the House for insurance premiums in 2026. However, CBO does not fully adjust for increased costs stemming from healthier young people leaving the market and impacts on costs due to Medicaid disruption. We suspect this underestimates the projected premiums under the AHCA. The CBO also assumes a steeper per year increase in the price of premiums than in recent years as their current baseline. This produces a potentially inflated estimate for 2026 premium prices under current law.

Federal Poverty Levels – CBO estimated the 2026 costs for 21-year olds earning 175 percent and 450 percent of the federal poverty level under current law and the American Health Care Act. CBO estimates that in 2026 these poverty levels would reflect $26,500 and $68,200 adjusted gross income. In other words, the FPL would be $15,143. This projection reflects the 2 percent annual rate of inflation. The AHCA phases out the tax credit once individuals begin earning above $75,000. Using CBO’s projections for the FPL in 2026, we estimate $75,000 will equate to 495 percent of FPL and the tax credit will completely phase out at $95,000, or 627 percent of FPL.

Age Rating Adjustments – CBO assumes most states will employ the 5:1 age rating allowed in the AHCA to project premium costs for 2026. We applied a year-by-year age rating schedule to expected premiums along a schedule modeled by the Millman Consulting firm. This reflects CBO’s estimates that a 21-year old earning 175 percent of FPL will pay $5,100 under current law and $3,900 under the AHCA’s age rating adjustment. The AHCA allows states to adopt their own age rating, but was not considered in this analysis.

Cost Sharing Reductions – CBO acknowledges that cost-sharing reductions would amount to $1,100 for a 21-year old and $3,350 for a 64-year old (in note c in Table 4). Using these assumptions we created a year-by-year schedule of CSR values, equaling roughly $50 per year of age. In reality, individuals earning below 175 percent  FPL receive a larger CSR and individuals earning between 175 percent and 250 percent would receive a lower amount. We applied the average benefit, based on CBO’s 175 percent FPL projection, to individuals earning below 250 percent FPL, a benefit removed by the AHCA.

Medicaid Eligibility - The AHCA rolls back Medicaid expansion and also freezes Medicaid enrollment in a few years and transforms the program by capping federal funds. To estimate the number of young adults affected by this change we apply a 16 percent rate (the proportion of 18-29 year olds that make up all Medicaid enrollees according to the U.S. Census) to the 14 million total losses in Medicaid as estimated by the CBO, resulting in 2.3 million. This undercounts the impact as young adults would probably disproportionately be affected by the Medicaid cuts, particularly ones without a disability, and young adults without children. However, CBO also assumes that some new additional states would have expanded Medicaid by 2026, and their estimates of Medicaid coverage losses could come from states that haven’t actually expanded yet in our current baseline drawn from Census estimates. CBO does not specify which states they assume expand.  This opens up the possibility that there is some double-counting individuals in our estimates of those who would be Medicaid-eligible if they lived in states that expanded and those who would lose Medicaid under the AHCA.

Furthermore, eight states have adopted trigger statutes to undo Medicaid expansion coverage and/or benefits in the event the federal government reduces its state reimbursement. This could lead to hundreds of thousands of more young adults losing access to coverage or essential benefits. We then summed the 3 million remaining uninsured young adults whose incomes currently fall below 138 percent of FPL, who would benefit if all states expanded Medicaid, resulting in a total of 5.2 million.

We apply a benefit of $3,247 per Medicaid enrollee. Certainly individuals with chronic health problems or disabilities receive a much larger benefit, and individuals who lose Medicaid eligibility who then experience health problems would be exposed well beyond this $3,247 annual benefit.

Declining Value of AHCA Tax Credit – The AHCA provides tax credits for individuals earning below $75,000, varying in amount depending on age. The amount also increases starting in 2019, by the rate of inflation plus one percentage point. CBO estimates an annual rate of inflation of 2 percent until 2026, so the scheduled rate of increase for tax credits for individuals under age 29 would reach $2,460 by 2026. CBO rounded all estimates to the nearest $50 and so project the tax credit at $2,450. However, government data project premiums to grow by 4.7 percent per capita annually until 2026. Applying this rate to the $2,000 tax credit would result in $2,908, a $449 deficit from the the current projection.

Continuous Coverage Provision – The AHCA requires insurers to impose a 30 percent surcharge on individuals whose coverage lapsed for 63 days during the year. Young adults are much more likely to move, change jobs, and experience lapses in coverage. In fact, 33 percent of young adults could experience a lapse of coverage and receive the surcharge. We applied a 30 percent surcharge on 33 percent of the value of the penalty for young adults currently in the individual market. For young adults without health insurance, the full value of the penalty was applied.

Population Growth – We estimated for the number of young adults falling into different poverty levels using the U.S. Census’ Current Population Survey estimates for 2016. To estimate population growth over the next decade, we used the U.S. Census National Population Projections’ estimate of 8.0 percent growth in the U.S. population between 2016 and 2026. We applied this growth rate to our CPS estimates of young adults by FPL, and assumed proportional growth.


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Latest Republican Health Care Plan Could Hurt the 46 Percent of Young Adults with a Pre-Existing Condition

April 26, 2017
Contact: Colin Seeberger,, 214-223-2913

[Washington, D.C.] — Today, Young Invincibles released a new report analyzing health care coverage for Millennials, underscoring how detrimental the latest version of the American Health Care Act would be for young people. The report reviews the gains young adults (18-34) have experienced under the Affordable Care Act, and the specific provisions most relevant to this generation. The new Republican replacement plan would remove or severely limit the impact of many of these provisions.

Millennials have seen dramatic gains in health insurance coverage since passage of the ACA, outpacing every other age demographic. The young adult uninsurance rate dropped from 29 percent in 2010, the highest rate among all age groups, to 16 percent in 2015. This represent a 45 percent decrease in the rate of uninsurance. Despite constituting only about one-third of the total United States population, young adults accounted for nearly half (46 percent) of the newly insured from 2014 to 2015.

The report finds that young people saw the impact of reform through several provisions, including three of the key provisions at risk in the latest House GOP proposal: protections from discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions; the expansion of Medicaid; and the inclusion of a number of key services in the essential health benefits package.  The latest version of the Republican health care proposal would either entirely remove or severely limit coverage and health services gains in all three provisions.

  • Discrimination against pre-existing conditions would hurt millions of Millennials: Millions of young adults are living with a preexisting condition. An analysis conducted by HHS in 2011 found 35 percent of 18- 24 year olds and 46 percent of 25-34 year olds were considered at risk for denial of health insurance due to a pre-existing condition.
  • Allowing states to easily remove essential health benefits would cut services that young adults use the most:
    • Maternity Coverage: The vast majority (83 percent) of first-time mothers are between the ages of 18-34 and rely on prenatal and maternity care.
    • Mental Health Services: Mental health was the number one reason young adults sought health care in 2013, with 7.6 million young adults taking advantage of this service.
    • Preventive Care: Young adults use preventive care for STD and HIV testing, cancer screenings, well-woman visits, depression and alcohol screening, and perhaps most importantly to young women, access to prescription contraception.
  • Gutting Medicaid could harm nearly half of all young adults who got covered under the ACA: Of the 8 million young adults who gained coverage since the ACA passed, nearly 4 million gained coverage through the expansion of state Medicaid programs. Closing the Medicaid coverage gap—by expanding Medicaid programs in all states to cover individuals with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level—would further reduce the uninsured rate for young adults to 9.2 percent

“This newest version of the House GOP plan takes a bad bill and makes it worse for young people,” said Jen Mishory, Executive Director of Young Invincibles. “It was already going to take away health coverage for 24 million people and severely increase the uninsured rate for this generation. The newest outline builds on that devastation, allowing states to discriminate against millions of young people living with a pre-existing condition – condemning too many in this generation to a lifetime of battles trying to get coverage and care they can actually afford. At the same time, it also allows states to pull coverage benefits for mothers seeking maternity care to ensure they can have healthy babies and the million of young people who need mental health services. Young people, and all Americans, expect more.”

Click here to read the full report.

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What’s Happened to Millennials since the ACA? Unprecedented Coverage & Improved Access to Benefits

Millennials have seen large gains in health insurance coverage since passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, outpacing every other age demographic. Young people had the highest pre-ACA uninsurance rates, but saw the sharpest declines, dropping from 29 percent in 2010 to 16 percent in 2015 – a fall of 45 percent. Despite constituting only 30 percent of the total United States population, young adults accounted for 46 percent of the newly insured from 2014 to 2015.

The ACA significantly reduced the number of uninsured Millennials, in large part, because of a) the expansion of Medicaid beyond narrow categorical eligibility requirements, b) the creation of advanceable, refundable tax credits offered to low and middle-income people, and c) expanded dependent coverage to allow young adults to stay on their parent or guardian’s health plan until the age of 26.

To learn more about how the ACA has improved coverage for young adults, read our latest brief.

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New ACA Repeal Bill Would Harm As Many As 30 Million Millennials with Pre-Existing Conditions

April 20, 2017
Contact: Sarah Schultz,, 202-734-6510

Today, it was made public that Congressman MacArthur plans to introduce an amendment to the American Health Care Act, which the Administration and members of the House have suggested could go to a vote next week. In response, Jen Mishory, Executive Director of Young Invincibles, released the following statement:

“Once again, just a few short weeks since House Republicans tried to dismantle our health care system and strip millions of coverage, GOP leaders are trying to force the unpopular American Health Care Act through –  this time, with a new amendment that will make a bad bill worse.

The MacArthur amendment would again make people with pre-existing conditions vulnerable to being charged higher premiums based on their health status, putting affordable health care in jeopardy for the 30 million Millennials living with a pre-existing health condition. The amendment also alleges to protect comprehensive coverage, but in reality the amendment would allow states to strip key services from health plans, like maternity care, substance use disorder services, mental health care, and other vital services that Millennials want and need in their health coverage.

These harmful changes will be the newest threats added to the AHCA, which would already take away the health coverage of 24 million people. Republican leaders need to abandon this reckless repeal effort once and for all.”


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People-Powered Defeat of AHCA a Victory for Young Adults

March 24, 2017
Contact: Sarah Schultz,, 202-734-6510

This afternoon, House Leadership pulled the American Health Care Act from a vote after conceding that the legislation did not have support to move forward. In response, Jen Mishory, Executive Director of Young Invincibles, released the following statement:

“Over the past 7 years, more than 8 million young adults have gained insurance under the Affordable Care Act, and today’s victory protects that progress. Millions of low-income young people can continue to access Medicaid and discounted coverage, and millions more can continue to rely on benefits like free birth control, mental health services, and maternity coverage.

The fact that President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress did everything possible to take that security away is unconscionable. Their efforts failed because of the voices of people all over the country who shared their stories, made calls to Congress, attended rallies, and posted on social media – and this generation was a big part of that effort. Those young people will continue to speak up when leaders in Washington threaten their well-being.”

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Statement: Rep. Grothman AHCA Amendment Attacks Young Adult Coverage

March 22, 2017
Contact: Sarah Schultz,, 202-734-6510

Yesterday afternoon, Congressman Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin introduced an amendment to the AHCA, which would eliminate young adults’ ability to stay on a parent’s plan until age 26. Today the House Rules Committee will vote on this amendment, among others.

Jen Mishory, Executive Director of Young Invincibles released the following statement:

“Congressman Grothman’s amendment is a blatant attack on young people trying to get their start in life. Not only is dependent coverage one of the most popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act, but more than 2.3 million young adults have gained coverage by staying on a parent’s health plan until they turn 26.  This amendment would kick young people off coverage and harm their health.”


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Up to One in Three Young Adults Could Get Hit by AHCA Continuous Coverage Penalty


March 15, 2017

Contact: Sarah Schultz,, 202.734.6510

New Analysis Finds Up to One in Three Young Adults Could Get Hit by Continuous Coverage Penalty

Young Adults are About 70 Percent More Likely to Trigger Penalty Than Older Adults Under 65

[WASHINGTON]–On the heels of the release of the American Health Care Act, Young Invincibles released a new analysis on one of the bill’s most controversial provisions, the continuous coverage requirement that penalizes individuals who experience a gap in coverage exceeding 63 days. This new analysis finds that the requirement, or Millennial Penalty, would disproportionately burden young adults, ultimately spoiling the risk pool and inflating premiums for everyone.

Jen Mishory, executive director of Young Invincibles, released the following statement on the new analysis:

“The Millennial Penalty works directly against any stated attempts to bring down costs and increase coverage by punishing primarily young consumers for brief, common lapses in coverage. As many as one-third of young adults experience gaps in coverage over the course of the year. Cutting Medicaid and subsidies for low-income consumers already reduces coverage options for young people; the Millennial Penalty, or continuous coverage penalty, would cut young adult coverage further, while hiking up prices by discouraging the healthiest consumers from enrolling.”

Key findings in the new analysis include:

  • As many as one-third of young consumers experience a gap in coverage over the course of a year, which could force them to pay higher premiums because of the 30 percent surcharge.
  • Young adults, are about 70 percent more likely to face the surcharge than older generations
  • The surcharge will make healthy consumers – especially cost-sensitive young adults – far less likely to enroll, ultimately harming the risk pool and increasing premiums.

Click here to read the full analysis.

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Dispelling the Myth: House GOP Repeal Bill will Nearly Double Uninsurance for Young Adults

March 13, 2017
Contact: Sarah Schultz,, 202-734-6510

A new analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office finds that House Republicans’ American Health Care Act (AHCA) would cause 24 million people to lose health care coverage over the next decade, including an estimated almost 6 million young adults.

House Republicans and others insist that the proposal would be good for young people, pointing to changes in age rating, reduction in benefit packages, and the tax credit structure that decreases premiums for some young people. But the CBO’s analysis shows that the overall impact of the plan results in loss of coverage and quality options for young people. These coverage losses will be driven primarily by the impact of the AHCA on low-income young adults, as those who depend on Medicaid, means-tested tax credits, and cost-sharing subsidies will see their coverage options dissolve. Many of these individuals will also face the prospect of a new 30 percent continuous coverage surcharge, or “Millennial Penalty,” for realizing a gap in coverage.  The result of those changes is an increase in uninsurance among 19-29 year olds of more than 10 percentage points.

Millions of Young Adults will Lose Coverage

The ACA cut the young adult uninsurance rate nearly in half, whereas the CBO estimates that the AHCA would cause the young adult uninsurance rate to nearly double.

  • Uninsurance: According to our analysis of the CBO’s projections, under the AHCA, young adults age 19-29 would see an increase in the uninsured rate from about 12% currently to about 22%, resulting in an estimated 5.76 million more — or 11.6 million total — young adults without insurance by 2026.
  • Impact of Cutting Medicaid and Means-Based Tax Credits:
    • Medicaid: 3.8 million young people (age 18-34) have gained coverage through Medicaid expansion. If all states expanded Medicaid, 4.2 million more young adults could qualify for coverage and the Millennial uninsurance rate would drop to as low as 9.2 percent.
      • The AHCA effectively guts Medicaid, and the CBO projects this will result in a coverage reduction of 14 million people by 2026.  Millions of those left behind will be under the age of 30.
  • 12.3 million young adults age 19-29 have incomes that are at or below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Line, so it is likely that millions of low-income young people would lose out not only on their Medicaid options, but would receive less generous tax credits, as the AHCA ends means-based tax credits.
    • The CBO similarly suggests that people living within this income bracket will not see their premiums go down.
    • The CBO states that changes in age rating, the flat tax credits adjusted only by age, and a reduction in the quality of plans available would bring premiums down for many moderate- and upper-income young people and increase the share of young people in the risk pool.  These changes, however, do not outweigh the coverage losses that young people see due to losses in Medicaid coverage and means-based tax credits for the lowest-income young people.
  • The Millennial Penalty: People who experience a gap in coverage for more than 63 days during the previous year will be charged a 30 percent premium surcharge for the next 12 months. Life changes that can cause brief disruptions in coverage disproportionately burden young adults, who are more likely to move, change jobs, or lack the resources to handle financial hardships that may lead to lapses in coverage.  The CBO similarly states that this penalty will make healthy consumers far less likely to enroll.
      • The CBO estimates that 2 million fewer people would purchase insurance in the years after 2018 as a result of the continuous coverage penalty.
      • *Coming this week: New YI analysis looks at the scale of how many young people could be subject to the Millennial Penalty — and how the figures compare to other age groups.
  • Defunding Planned Parenthood: Millions of young people rely on Planned Parenthood. The CBO estimates that low-income people living in areas without access to other clinics or practitioners serving low-income populations would be most impacted, and that 15 percent of this population would lose access to care.

Higher Out of Pocket Costs Create Barriers to Care

The CBO projects that much of the decrease in premium costs can be attributed to a decrease in the quality of coverage offered, in turn raising out-of-pocket costs for consumers, many of whom are low-income.  But young people have consistently chosen better plans when given the choice and the means. For example, the ACA offers a “catastrophic plan” option, primarily for those under 30 – but less than 1 percent of marketplace enrollees have chosen that option.  At the same time, young people have a negative 2 percent savings rate due to other financial constraints, making high deductibles and cost-sharing a significant barrier to care.

  • High Out-of-Pocket Costs:  Under the AHCA, there will be no requirements for insurance companies to sell plan options with higher actuarial values. The CBO estimates that most plans will drop to 60 percent actuarial value (equal to the current Bronze plan).
  • No Cost-Sharing Subsidies: The CBO estimates that AHCA plans with lower actuarial values will result in higher out-of-pocket costs than current ACA plans, especially once cost-sharing subsidies are eliminated in 2020 as proposed by the plan.
    • About 44 percent of young people earn below 250 FPL, the cut-off for cost-sharing subsidies under the ACA.
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House GOP Plan Detrimental to Millennials’ Access to Health Coverage

March 6, 2017
Contact: Sarah Schultz,, 202-734-6510

Tonight, House Republicans introduced a bill to repeal and replace the ACA, which would have devastating effects on millions of young adults, a group which has seen the greatest health care gains under the ACA: in the past six years, Millennial uninsurance rates have dropped from 29 percent to 16 percent. Included in the bill are the following provisions that would be particularly detrimental to young people’s health and access to coverage, with statements from Jen Mishory, Executive Director of Young Invincibles:

Continuous Coverage Surcharge: The Millennial Penalty

“House Republicans say that they want to improve the pool and bring costs down for everyone, but this plan would do the exact opposite by imposing a “Millennial Penalty,” letting insurers charge people very steep penalties for brief lapses in coverage commonly resulting from life changes that disproportionately burden young adults, who are more likely to move, change jobs, or lack the resources to handle financial hardships that may lead to lapses in coverage.”

  • Data point: Young people move at twice the national rate, change jobs more than their older counterparts, and have incomes 20 percent less than their parents did at their age – leading to lower savings and wealth accumulation.

Gutting Medicaid
“The proposal states that they are modernizing Medicaid, but their plan would force states to cut access to coverage and care for millions of young people and families that qualify for expanded Medicaid.”

  • Data point: 3.8 million young people have gained coverage through Medicaid expansion. If all states expanded Medicaid, Millennial uninsurance rates could have dropped by as much as another 7 percentage points.

Defunding Planned Parenthood:
“Millions of young people rely on Planned Parenthood: by defunding Planned Parenthood this proposal would slash access to critical health care services for our generation.”


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Postpartum Depression and the Economic Growth of Young Texas Families

Postpartum depression is the most common complication of childbirth and can affect families in a range of ways, including in terms of health, family stability, and economic security. Nearly 15% of women in the United States will experience postpartum depression (PPD) symptoms,ii but that rate rises to 17% for Texas women.

The condition can occur up to a year after delivery but is also frequently observable during pregnancy—which is why the condition is sometimes referred to as perinatal or maternal depression—and can include anxiety, difficulty performing daily tasks, sleeplessness, acute feelings of guilt, and major depressive episodes.

Texas lawmakers have taken positive steps to increase access to supports for those coping with PPD, but given the pressing need, further improvements remain critical. To read more about addressing postpartum depression in Texas, please read the full brief: Postpartum Depression and the Economic Growth of Young Texas Families.


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