Young 'Invincible' Adults Quiet On Health Reform, Seniors Remain Confused

Invincibles, the "strong and healthy young adults who have no experience with wallet-crippling illness and feel they have no need for coverage," may be "the most likely to be affected by the reform effort" outlined by President Barack Obama on Wednesday, The Baltimore Sun reports. "Adults ages 18 to 34 comprise more than half of the nation's uninsured. Under the various plans before Congress, they would be required to get health insurance or face penalties if they refuse." Although young adults were among Obama's biggest supporters in the presidential election, "they have been relatively quiet about his quest for health reform despite the stakes involved."

"Insurance companies are hungry to sign up invincibles: Premiums of young people who don't need much care mean money that can be spent on those who do. While some analysts say mandated insurance would place financial burdens on the young and healthy, others say they would be helped by proposals to subsidize those with lower incomes and to allow them to be covered longer under their parents' health plans" (Walker, Desmon and West, 9/11). 

The Salt Lake Tribune concentrated on older Utahns' concerns: "Senior citizens are the group most likely to report they are confused about the various proposals and how the plans might affect their Medicare health care coverage. ... But here is one myth senior citizens can lay to rest: No proposal calls for rationing health care for older Americans." Obama offered reassurances on Wednesday, the Tribune reported, saying rationing "'is a lie, plain and simple.' … What some bills, sponsored by both Republicans and Democrats, do promote is end-of-life care planning -- that is, discussions between physicians, patients and their families about the kind of care they want to receive when faced with a terminal illness" (Adams, 9/10).

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