5 Reasons #PriceIsWrong for Millennials’ Health

By Colin Seeberger


Rep. Tom Price’s history as a member of Congress raises alarming flags about the policies he might champion as Secretary of Health & Human Services. He needs to answer for this record. Here’s a quick rundown of how a Secretary Price could significantly undermine Millennials’ health.

1. Price would significantly cut young people’s access to coverage.

In the last Congress, Rep. Price authored a bill called Empowering Patients, which would repeal the Affordable Care Act, or the essential means by which 8 million young adults have gained health care coverage, including 2.3 million young people who have been able to stay on a parent’s plan until they turn 26 (dependent coverage provision); 3.8 million through Medicaid expansion; and millions more through federal and state health insurance marketplaces. A new report from the Congressional Budget Office finds that repealing the Affordable Care Act would cause 18 million to lose their insurance and premiums to increase up to 25 percent next year. A Kaiser analysis of Rep. Price’s Empowering Patients legislation, his bill would would repeal the ACA’s dependent coverage provision and eliminate the ACA’s Medicaid expansion without a replacement to provide low-income enrollees coverage, much less coverage with comparable benefits.

2. Price doesn’t understand young women’s health needs.

Speaking at 2012 CPAC conference, when asked by a reporter about what women who have struggled to afford birth control should do if the ACA’s birth control mandate was undone, Rep. Price said: “Bring me one woman who’s [been unable to afford birth control]… There’s not one.” According to a 2010 Planned Parenthood Action Fund survey, 55 percent of women ages 18 to 34 have struggled with the cost of prescription birth control. It’s worth noting, Rep. Price has consistently voted to defund Planned Parenthood.

3. Price would give huge tax cuts to billionaires and cut financial help for low- and middle-income young adults.

Rep. Price’s health care bill would cut premium tax credits to low- and middle-income people and redirect that support, and in smaller levels, to individuals based on age. That means that young people, who have less work experience and thus typically lower wages, would see their access to financial assistance that helps them afford coverage slashed. Young adults are already earning $10,000 less than young adults a generation ago, so restructuring the financial help how Rep. Price suggests would only further stunt Millennial’s economic vitality. Furthermore, Rep. Price’s bill would provide 2.5 times more financial assistance to purchase coverage for middle-aged people, regardless of their wealth or health status, as it would to young workers making the minimum wage. In other words, Price would give a tax credit that is 2.5 times larger to the CEO of Goldman Sachs than he would to a recent college graduate working full-time at the GAP.

4. Price would push young people into policies that don’t meet their needs.

Price’s bill would eliminate the ACA’s Essential Health Benefits that currently ensure all Qualified Health Plans include maternity and mental health coverage. Prior to the ACA, just 12 percent of policies sold on the individual insurance market included maternity coverage as a benefit, despite the fact that the average, uncomplicated pregnancy could, on average, set a consumer paying out of pocket back $18,000. Additionally, mental health and trauma-related disorders are the top two conditions for which young adults receive health care, and 7.6 million young adults receive care for mental health conditions annually.

5. Price would expose 30 million young adults with pre-existing conditions to being denied or charged more for coverage.

Kaiser’s analysis also notes that Price’s bill would repeal the ACA’s prohibition on denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. Instead, people with pre-existing conditions could be guaranteed coverage only if they are already insured or if they withstand an 18 month waiting period. In other words, say that you are working at a job and have a one week lapse in employment and health coverage, under Rep. Price’s bill, insurance companies would be allowed to deny you coverage for up to 18 months due to the one week lapse in coverage.

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Young Illinoisan and ACA Enrollee, Erin McDonald, Named Winner of Healthy Young America Video Contest

The Associated Press

CHICAGO — A young Illinois resident has won the grand prize in a national video contest aimed at promoting health insurance to young adults.

The advocacy group Young Invincibles and the Department of Health and Human Services announced this week that Chicagoan Erin McDonald’s video, “Forget About the Price Tag,” won the $2,000 prize.

McDonald is a 26-year-old law school graduate and has Type 1 diabetes. She tells The Associated Press that she was able to sign up for insurance recently under Cook County’s early expansion of the Medicaid program. Cook County expanded Medicaid a year ahead of the Affordable Care Act.

Her video is a parody of the song “Price Tag” by Jessie J with new lyrics mentioning the law’s guarantee of coverage despite pre-existing conditions.

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Young Invincibles’ Statement on Open Enrollment Launch

October 1, 2013

Contact: Colin Seeberger, colin.seeberger@younginvincibles.org, 214.223.2913

Young Invincibles Cheers the Start of 6-Month Open Enrollment Period as Health Insurance Marketplaces Open for the First Time

Enrollment Kicks Off Amidst Young Invincibles’ Nationwide Education Campaign to Educate Young Adults About New Reduced-Cost Options

[WASHINGTON]—Today marks the launch of a 6-month Open Enrollment period, during which consumers across the country can shop for and enroll in a more comprehensive and affordable health care plan on online health insurance Marketplaces. Millions of young people will qualify for free or reduced cost coverage through Medicaid or monthly tax credits for Marketplace plans. Coverage will begin on January 1, 2014.

“Today is a game changer for the millions of uninsured young adults in this country that have never been able to afford health insurance or have been denied coverage for having a pre-existing condition,” said Aaron Smith, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Young Invincibles.

Nationally, 27 percent of young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 are uninsured. About 1 in 6 young people have pre-existing conditions, which means that insurers previously may have denied them coverage. In addition, thanks to Medicaid expansion and tax credits, up to 17 of the country’s 19 million uninsured young adults could be eligible for free or reduced-cost coverage over the coming years, if all states ultimately expand Medicaid.

“The health insurance Marketplaces are desperately-needed lifelines and will bring economic security to millions of young Americans. We encourage all young people to learn more about their options and see how they may be able to save money through the exchanges,” Smith said.

Young Invincibles is in the midst of a nationwide “Healthy Young America” campaign designed to inform this generation about coming changes and new options. The campaign includes health care “train the trainer” sessions to insure that community leaders are informed about new changes; a website with FAQs to educate consumers and advocates; enrollment events to educate young people about their new options; and a mobile app to help consumers learn about their options and find local healthcare services.

For more information about health plan options and savings and to enroll in coverage on the new Health Insurance Marketplaces, please visit healthcare.gov.


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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What the Supreme Court Decision on Health Care Means for Young People

Click here to download the fact sheet.

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