On Wednesday December, 4th over 160 of the country’s finest youth leaders, community organizers, small business owners, bloggers, radio hosts, DJ’s, club promoters, Student Body Presidents, nonprofit Founders, and other influential millennials gathered in The White House South Court Auditorium to hear President Obama welcome a whole new generation of leadership to encourage a movement and get engaged on various political issues. Each attendee, including myself, was invited to The White House Youth Summit Social because of the leadership they have exhibited. “You are all here because of the impact you have made on your communities” President Obama stated as the audience clapped him on.
Also an esteemed panel with representatives from organizations like Rock the Vote, Young Invincibles, Generation Progress, Enroll America, Policy Mic, and the State Senator Jeremy Nordquist joined shortly after his empowering speech and gave advice on how to be a catalyst of change, to get others engaged, and to be apart of the decision-making conversations. President Obama enthusiastically talked about the Affordable Care Act and the importance of educating young people on how it affects their personal lives. The main objective was to make sure young people are becoming insured and taking advantage of the opportunity. Around 19 million people between the ages 18 – 35 are uninsured in the United States, majority are apart of the low income population, and make under $17,000 a year.
“I know people call this law Obamacare… and it’s okay because I do care.”
Most young people lost their family coverage when they graduated high school or college and it was often a few years before they got a job that offered good health insurance. Now under the law, most young adults who can’t get coverage through their jobs can stay on their parents plan until age 26 – this change has helped 3.1 million young adults get health coverage. The main purpose of the ACA was to expand access to those who need it and make it also more affordable. However, if young people aren’t aware they cannot and will not take advantage of their right to receive affordable health coverage. And that’s where youth leaders come in, to educate and empower our peers on the issues at hand.
“It’s never been easy to change how we do business in the country… Bottom line is I’m going to need you. And the country needs you.”
“There are a few young people in this room who will be leading the charge on a whole range of issues well into the future. Don’t get discouraged. Be persistent. You may get a few gray hairs.” President Obama insisted. After the Opening remarks of President Obama, the panel lead a discussion on how can young people get engaged and educate other young people on the Affordable Care Act and the issues in our country.
Here are some more facts on the Affordable Care Act:
- 3.1 million young adults have gained insurance through their parents plans
- 7.3 million people with Medicare have received $8.9 billion in prescription drug discounts.
- 34 million people with Medicare have received a free preventive service
- 71 million privately insured people gained improved coverage for preventive services
- 105 million Americans have had lifetime limits removed from their insurance.
If you would like an insight on the conversations and recommendations that I participated in, on how to engage youth to sign up for health care, take a look here.
Read the White House Blog post on the #WHYouthSummit here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/12/04/white-house-youth-summit-making-sure-people-have-information-they-need-getcovered