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Mandate confusion, resentment
Lack of knowledge adds to uncertainty
Published Sunday, December 22, 2013 10:07 am
by Amanda Raymond, For The Charlotte Post

CHAPEL HILL – Young adults do not think they are informed enough about Obamacare.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, was signed into law in 2010 and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012. It aims to give Americans access to health insurance that is more affordable.

According to a website on the facts of Obamacare, the effectiveness of the system depends on the amount of young people who participate because they are least likely to use expensive health care services.

But many young people do not think they know enough about the new health insurance plans to want to participate.

Kavita Patel is a senior biology major on the pre-medical track at UNC Chapel Hill. She said young people may not be making the most informed decisions and may get themselves into a plan that they realize later they may not have wanted.

“I think in terms of judgment, we haven’t had enough experience to make those types of decisions yet,” she said.

Angel Johnston, a UNC senior history major, said it was a bad move for the government to saddle healthy young people with unnecessary insurance.

“I think it’s an unfair burden, I guess, just because I already feel like we subsidize so many things,” she said. “I’m paying into Medicare that I probably won’t get. I’m paying into Social Security that I certainly won’t get. I am not going to pay for somebody’s healthcare that I won’t get.” 

And most young people are still on their parents’ insurance plans. A benefit of the government’s insurance is young adults are allowed to stay on their parents’ plan until they are 26, so they feel no need to enroll in the government’s plan.

“I have my dad who decides on things like that,” Patel said. “He just does it and then I more so find out what my plan is.”

Johnston is also on her parents’ plan.

Some organizations use social media to advance their causes, and Salima Taylor, a junior at N.C. Central University, thinks the government should do the same thing.

“I think they really need to do a market, a campaign, specifically to young adults … to get them to understand that in order for this to work, we need you guys to sign up because you’re healthy and you won’t need as much money to be cared for rather than all of these old, sick people signing up,” she said.

Though many think that they need more information, young adults think Obamacare is a step in the right direction for the country.

“It is some type of movement out of, I would like to say, mostly good intentions,” Patel said. “Someone is trying to do something good. And you’re only going to learn if it’s going to work or not by doing it.”

Amanda Raymond of Concord is a junior journalism and psychology major at UNC Chapel Hill. She is a staff writer at The Daily Tarheel, UNC’s campus newspaper.

Also in this series: Young, healthy and necessary

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