Stop Calling It the Slacker Mandate!

It's insulting to both young Americans and their parents
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2010 12:05 PM CDT
Stop Calling It the Slacker Mandate!
There are plenty of industrious 20-somethings who don't have health insurance.   (Shutterstock)

Conservatives have found a new punching bag in the health care reform legislation: the so-called “slacker mandate,” which allows parents to keep their kids under their health insurance until age 26. Michelle Malkin has railed against it as an example of the “Nanny state gone wild,” that doesn’t teach kids self-reliance. But “this isn’t a joke,” writes Jill Lawrence of Politics Daily. More than 13 million 19- to 29-year-olds are uninsured—making them the least-insured demographic.

It’s fun to call these people “slackers,” but the truth is that many have entry level or temporary jobs that just don’t offer insurance—nearly three in 10 young adults with jobs are uninsured. And given the economy, this is also the group least likely to be able to find a job—a recent Pew survey put unemployment among 18- to 29-year-olds at 37%. And if all that doesn’t sway you, the policy is good politics, helping both boomers and their kids—or 40% of the population. (More health care reform stories.)

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