The Wall Street Journal: "Although insurers generally oppose the Democrats' health-care bill, an overhaul would give the industry a chance to boost its diminishing rolls with an influx of young customers who tend to be healthy and profitable to cover. The legislation, which Congress will vote on soon, is designed to get millions of young people to buy health insurance, using a mixture of subsidies to make coverage more affordable and penalties for people who remain uninsured." About 13 million people between ages of 19 and 29 are uninsured, The Journal reports. Subsidies could help many young people buy insurance, but critics "say it is a giveaway to insurance companies because it hands the industry a sizeable new market without restricting profits or forcing it to compete with a government-run plan." Consulting firm McKinsey & Co. says the 13 million uninsured could mean $21 billion in revenues for insurers (Johnson, 3/16).
Related KHN story: How Health Reform Could Affect The 'Young Invincibles' (Galewitz, 3/8)