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Increase in Dependent Health Coverage Is Actually a Failure to Create Jobs

June 19, 2012
The Obama Administration today hailed the Democrats’ health care law for allegedly helping 3.1 million young Americans gain insurance coverage under a provision permitting young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan until they turn age 26. 

However, what the Administration is unlikely to reveal is the reason so many young adults are finding it necessary to stay on their parents’ plans in the first place – the failed economic policies of the Obama Administration.  Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich summed up the effect those economic policies have had on young adults’ ability to find their own job – and often their own health coverage – in a recent column detailing what college graduates won’t be hearing in their commencement addresses:

“…[Y]ou’re going to have a hell of a hard time finding a job. The job market you’re heading into is still bad. Fewer than half of the graduates from last year’s class have as yet found full-time jobs. Most are still looking.  That’s been the pattern over the last three graduating classes: It’s been taking them more than a year to land the first job. And those who still haven’t found a job will be competing with you, making your job search even harder.” (Robert Reich, “The Commencement Address That Won’t Be Given,” May 18, 2012)

Any responsible young adult would prefer having a job with his or her own health care coverage.  But in the Obama economy, as the chart below displays, too many are without jobs and have had to move back home and be covered under their parents’ policies.  You are not supposed to end your college years the same way you started them – back at home, jobless and living off of mom and dad.

Employment-Population Ratio – 16-24 Years (Seasonally Adjusted)

Source: US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.