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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Coverage for young adults

Andrew Ondrejcak, 24, was attempting to live out his dream. He moved from a small town to New York City to start a career in fashion. To make ends-meet, Andrew worked at a local bakery. He could barely afford rent and health insurance was out of the question.

According to Andrew,

"Health insurance wasn't even an option. I was flying through my savings, trying to get a career started. I was doing a lot of assisting [for] designers who were doing great work, but I wasn't making anything. The last thing I'm going to do is spend $300 or whatever on insurance, you know?"

Unfortunately, Andrew became ill. Looking around for a doctor to help him, he found that many would not see him because he didn't have insurance. When he finally found a doctor, he also found that the price was high: A simple doctor' visit would be $200. It was a devastating blow. According to Andrew,

"Basically all the money I'd made that week. I left keeling over in pain but took the bus home because I was so broke.

Andrew's ulcers, which he had problems with a few years back, returned and the pain intensified. The doctor's remedy did not work, and Andrew was rushed to the hospital. So now, he is left with pain, suffering, and debt.

In America, a person who tries to pursue their dream should not be penalized because they get sick. Luckily, for people in Andrew's situation, health reform has eliminated that horrifying scenario from happening to anyone else.

Under health reform, people like Andrew who are dubbed "young invincibles" will now be able to stay on their parents' insurance plans until they are 26. This allows for young adults to start careers, move, and take risks without the threat of debt. It is a simple measure, but it will help prevent other kids striking out on their own from going through what Andrew went through.